Bus Budget Crunch

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"As the cost of fuel increases, it certainly creates hardships on school systems because we've allocated a certain amount of money with the expectation that fuel costs would remain fairly stable," says Steve Smith.

This year officials increased the district’s allotment for transportation by 20 percent, but no one could predict the disastrous Katrina and its widespread effects.

Troy Davis says even with the extra money, the district is need of a lot more.

Troy Davis says, "It's looking like we're going to need about 80,000 more dollars for fuel costs, energy costs, and that's going to be tough to find."

Back in August, the district made changes in several of the bus routes. The goal was to increase efficiency, but it seems as though some more changes are necessary.

Smith says, "Another thing that we've done is that we have decreased the number of field trips that our students are taking."

The district may have to cut the number of bus stops again, but they say no matter how much they have to scrimp and save, the school busses will not go away.

Smith adds, "Busses are very important ‘cause they're the first line of defense. They pick the children up in the morning. They're one of the first people to see school children and they're the last to see the children in the afternoon, so it's important that we have a efficient transportation system."

In the meantime, officials will wait for fuel prices to fall and make cuts wherever possible.