Inside: Schools struggle with fuel costs

In an informal survey of school officials, more than 96 percent say that high fuel costs are hurting their districts.

Besides affecting bus transportation, administrators say the rising fuel costs have forced many of them to cut back on heating and cooling of facilities and the use of maintenance vehicles.

In the survey by the Association of School Business Officials International, more than 61 percent responding strongly agreed and more than 35 percent agreed that “the rising price of fuel is adversely affecting my school district.”

More than 56 percent say they have taken steps to reduce the use of fuel in their school systems.

Among the steps administrators say they have taken to ease the drain on their budgets: reconfiguring bus routes; reducing expenditures on books and supplies; seeking out more efficient equipment; placing surcharges on or canceling field trips; setting up fuel-buying consortiums; and establishing no-idling policies.

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