The Associated Press reported that as of Tuesday, April 15, gas prices had reached “within a penny of $114 a barrel” causing retail gasoline and diesel prices to soar as well. This continuous increase is now affecting everything.
Bus drivers and school boards are just two groups of people whose budget is getting hit hard now that the prices of fuel are skyrocketing.
Local school boards are having to readjust their budgets in order to accommodate for the fuel costs of their school buses.
“At the end of Feb. we had used up 96 percent of our fuel budget,” said Middlesboro Independent Schools Superintendent Darryl Wilder. He went on to say he was concerned with the increase of fuel prices, especially since spring is a busy time of year for school buses.
Due to spring sports school buses travel more during this time of year, and since the schedules for these sports have been set months in advance schools cannot cancel trips. Therefore, if trips have to be canceled it is likely that school field trips will be the first to go.
“Fortunately we don’t feel we are going to have to cut any trips. We’re going to take monies from other parts of the budget,” said Wilder.
Middlesboro Independent is not the only school system experiencing a budget problem. Bell County Schools Superintendent George Thompson said the Bell County school system is already over their fuel budget. He said just to transport students on a daily basis their buses use nearly 500 gallons of diesel fuel a day.
The Bell County school system buys diesel fuel, which is currently at higher prices than gasoline, by the tanker instead of by individual fill up at a service station. Thompson reported that at the beginning of the school year a tank cost $15,000 and as of the end of Feb. cost $26,000 a tanker.
Thompson also said there were currently no have plans to cancel any trips for students. “We don’t want to deny the kids anything,” said Thompson.
Both superintendents stated an increase in gas prices was taken into consideration when creating the budget for the current year, but were surprised to see prices surpass the expected increase.
According to the Associated Press both gasoline and diesel prices were at record highs on April 15. The national average for gasoline was $3.386 according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, and diesel prices at the pump were $4.119.
The AP also reports that fuel prices are expected to continue rising as summer approaches.
Andrea Schneider is a Staff Writer for the Daily News. She can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.