Dallas County Schools (DCS), a countywide district providing transportation services to the area’s school districts, is coming under intense scrutiny after a recent NBC 5 investigation into the district’s use and possible abuse of taxpayer dollars.

According to NBC 5, DCS officials not long ago launched a side business financed with public monies that aims to take school bus stop arm cameras statewide. Erroneously, district officials estimated the cost of the program at $17 million; but investigators found that the program has thus far cost taxpayers more like $49 million. That figure does not include an “expansive agreement with a camera supplier,” Force Multiplier Solutions, worth an estimated $25 million, which boosts the total cost of the program to almost $75 million.

Of course, the cost of DCS’ program is only one aspect of this story that should pique the curiosity of taxpayers. Another involves the question of why a public entity is running or has assumed the appearance of running a for-profit venture in the first place? Are our public education institutions now in the business of running businesses?

Check out the story below for more details: