Soaring Fuel Prices Impact Schools

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

The skyrocketing price of gas is starting to impact education.

In New York, some school field trips are being put on hold or even canceled because of the high cost of fueling up a school bus.

We take a look at how Dothan is feeling the pain at the pump.

School Bus Driver Charlotte York says she fills up twice a week.

Here in Dothan, diesel fuel prices have jumped nearly two-and a half dollars in four years.

School buses hold about 100 gallons of fuel. So, filling up once a week can get pretty expensive.

"At the beginning of the school year, it was around $2.40 a gallon. Four years ago it was around 90 cents a gallon," says Larry Alums, director of Transportation Services for Dothan City Schools.

Around the United States, schools are cutting back some of its field trips in order to compensate for the rising fuel costs.

However, in Dothan, that's not the case.

"We're looking at possible ways of cutting, but we don't want to take away educational opportunities from our kids. So as long as we can provide this additional educational experience for kids, and be able to fund it, we'll continue to do it," says Dothan City Schools Superintendent Dr. Sam Nichols.

Each Dothan City School pays for its own transportation for field trips and sporting events.

It’s a $1 per mile, and around $11.50 per hour for the bus driver.

And, in the meantime, drivers are urged to conserve as much as possible.

"We have to do the entire route, naturally, but we always stay where we need to be," says York, saving fuel between trips to the school.

Transportation Director for Houston County Schools Bryan McGriff says Houston County has not cut any of its field trips or sporting events due to the fuel prices.

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