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DISD Makes Changes To Controversial Student Transportation Plan

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - New signs brought sighs of relief from some Dallas Independent School District parents today, as changes were made to car services that transport more than two thousand students to school.

Private cars, shuttle vans and taxicabs, which had been unmarked last week, were clearly labeled with magnetic signs on both sides today.  The drivers had photo identification, validating their role as personal drivers for the special group of DISD students needing to get to school and home, without the use of buses.

The changes seem to have appeased some parents, who were outraged by the program during the first week of school.

"This week was efficient and long as the drivers were checked out. That was my concern…and the vehicles checked out and not too many kids crammed into one car," said parent Cathy Troy.

A spokesperson for ALC, the company contracted for most of the special car service student delivery, says several "productive" meetings have been held with parents over the past week.  Gregg Prettyman says ALC has answered security and safety questions from parents who objected to the individual driver plan or knew little about it.

"Each driver has undergone a thorough background check. Fingerprinting. They are enrolled in random drug testing program. They receive the same background check as a bus driver," Pettyman explained.

The school district is reserving the right to make changes to the transportation plan.  Board member Lew Blackburn says he's still listening to parents before he makes a recommendation about the future of the program.

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