Sunday, July 13, 2008


Gwen Purdom, USA Today [With] Fuel costs are up 35%-40% since last year. Schools are making more students walk to school and axing buses for extracurricular activities, and more operate on four-day weeks:

- Garden City, Mich., schools have eliminated Saturday transportation for extracurricular activities. Last year, the district cut out daily buses for high school students, but after two weeks, the buses were back when parents expressed safety concerns.

- In Nash-Rocky Mount public schools in Nashville, N.C., a bus for any extracurricular event that is not a competition now depends on funds raised by students or booster groups.

- The Montgomery County, Md., school board has given Superintendent Jerry Weast authority to expand how far students will walk to school or a bus stop if gas prices create "exigent circumstances."

At least 86 school districts are on four-day weeks, according to the National School Boards Association. Kentucky's Webster County schools switched to four-day weeks in 2005, saving the district more than $400,000 so far.

For the coming year, the school board is considering busing only students who live more than a mile from school rather than let everyone ride, Superintendent James Kemp says. Transportation for sports and other activities will be up to parents.

In Ohio, more schools are cutting back to the minimum requirement, which means buses only for kindergartners through eighth-graders who live more than 2 miles from school, according to Pete Japikse, the state's director of pupil transportation. The number of students on daily buses is down from 1.1 million to 1 million.


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