I hate this shit just as much as those fucking red light cameras. It's not about public safety; it's all about the Benjamins.
And, of course, their immediate go-to solution to this fall-out from their poor decisions is lay-offs. Of course, that never applies to the idiots who made the poor decisions in the first place. They still have their very comfortable salaries.[....]
DCS (Dallas County Schools) is best known as the agency that operates the school buses for 12 local school districts. This week the agency announced it is more than $40 million behind budget.
In 2012, the agency launched a program to put cameras on school buses to catch drivers who run past school bus stop signs. Each time a car runs past a stopped school bus that has a stop arm extended, DCS sends the owner of the vehicle a ticket in the mail.
DCS promised taxpayers the fines collected from drivers would pay for the millions of dollars worth of camera equipment.
But in 2014, NBC 5 Investigates first reported the fines collected were lagging way behind the districts projections.
New records show DCS has collected $19 million in fines, but DCS check records show that since 2010, the agency has spent more than $52 million to pay for the camera program.
The costs ballooned in part because DCS expanded the program way beyond Dallas County.
To take the business statewide, DCS created an unusual partnership with their camera supplier, Force Multiplier Solutions.
DCS signed a deal to pay Force Multiplier $25 million more over time for a technology license. The deal made DCS the only vendor of Force Multiplier Cameras in Texas.
DCS would purchase Force Multiplier equipment and cameras and, in turn, give them to other school districts for free in exchange for a cut of the money collected on the tickets.
But many drivers caught on camera don't pay the fines, and the tickets are sometimes thrown out on appeals.
Monthly reports show DCS has been unable to collect at least $12 million in fines from drivers ticketed across the state.
At a meeting earlier this week, DCS acknowledged the program is now at least $20 million in the hole.
Adding to the problems, DCS borrowed millions to purchase the camera equipment. This week, King said the district is teetering on the brink of being unable to make payments on its debt.
NBC 5 Investigates has asked repeatedly to interview superintendent Sorrells. This week he told NBC 5 he cannot talk right now but hopes to be able to do that soon.