Schools try to fit fuel prices into budget

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -- When filling up your pick up truck these days makes you stop and scratch your head, consider filling up hundreds of buses with 100 gallon tanks.

It's obviously a huge growing expense your school districts are dealing with and the road is getting bumpier for administrators who manage the bus fleets.

Kenton County transports thousands of students a day, five days a week. The bad news is the buses average only a mere seven to eight miles to the gallon.

"We have 173 buses and the price for diesel fuel is $4.20 a gallon," said Gerald Turner, with the Kenton County School District Transportation Department. "we run 11,000 miles on a daily basis and its going to be a struggle for us."

As diesel prices climb, school administrators across the Tri-state are crunching transportation numbers trying to figure out how to pay for the fuel.

"We ended up last year our budget increase was $400,000 in fuel alone," said Turner.

Cincinnati Public Schools say they've dodged the gas bullet by having a transportation contract with an independent bus provider.

"We continued to be covered and protected from fuel prices (due to an) escalation clause," said Terry Elfers with Cincinnati Public Schools.

Administrators say they feel fortunate to put that savings back into the classroom, but they also understand contracts don't last forever.