Embattled Dallas County Schools (DCS) board president Larry Duncan announced his resignation Wednesday, two days after coming under fire from an NBC 5 investigation into a land deal that once again raised questions about the organization’s financial management. Interim Superintendent Leatha Mullins has asked for a criminal investigation into the matter.
While no longer president, Duncan plans to stay on the board of trustees. At-large trustee Gloria Levario was named the new president.
In a prepared statement announcing his decision, Duncan said that the past six months have been difficult, and that it was time for DCS to look forward.
“It is clear to me now, that we have to make a full commitment to the future because there’s nothing we can do to repair the past,” Duncan said. “I love this organization with all my heart but I have made a decision not to run for re-election as its president. There is a lot of work to do. I am truly hopeful this will redirect the focus to the work that lies ahead.”
Earlier this year, Duncan defended his decision to received $245,000 in campaign contributions from a vendor that supplied bus cameras for a controversial program blamed for costing DCS millions of dollars. The DCS board of trustees later revised its rules to prevent them from voting on matters related to major donors. DCS, Dallas ISD’s sole transportation provider, has also come under fire its safety records, as well as multiple reports of students arriving late for class. Despite that, in January Duncan said he still considered his organization a model for other school districts around the state.
A bill filed in the State Legislature by Sen. Don Huffines could eventually eliminate DCS altogether.