Gas Prices Effect School Bus Budgets

8-16-05 – Guzzling far more gas than an SUV, school buses can cost nearly $200 to fill up. Just the first week of school, Sherman ISD is already worried they’re going to be over budget on gas.

Steady growth in Sherman schools means more bus routes and more gas consumption. Public schools in Texas pay the government rate of $1.85, cheaper that what consumers pay at the pump, but still up $0.40 from last year. This school district ran out of money for bus fuel last March and had to ask for $50,000 more. They fear the 2005-2006 school year will be worse.

“Like many other government units, we anticipated some increase, but not this kind of increase,” says Bruce Barnett, Assistant Superintendent of Finance for Sherman ISD.

Administrators say cutting back on bus routes and the number of runs is out of the question. What’s likely to happen if they run over budget on gas costs: a cut back on school field trips and other activities.