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Hike in Gas Prices Is Affecting Local Schools

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If you think you're paying a lot for gas, imagine having to tank up a school bus. As prices rise, districts around the country and here at home are feeling the pinch.

Mike Kristynik is the Assistant Superintendent at Bryan ISD. He says they've budgeted for higher prices for the last several years, but not this much higher.

"We just don't have much choice. We’ve got to transport kids," says Kristynik.

The district is spending almost $5,000 more to fill up their fleet of school buses. And they're cutting back on gas by consolidating bus routes and adding as many as 70 kids to each route.

"We maintain a reserve account to allow for any kind of price increases. Last year we had to dip in to it. This year's budget we're adding to that account," says Kristynik.

Mike Ball is Deputy Superintendent for College Station ISD and says rising gas prices are forcing them to focus on making routes more efficient.

"We have tried to plan for unanticipated increases in price of fuel. Obviously we didn't plan they would increase to extent that they have. But at this point, it’s really not affecting our operations. It’s just costing more to do what we do," says Ball.

And College Station ISD is beginning to look at different options.

"The thing we will have to evaluate is the trips other than to and from school. Those are the things really are more discretionary. The routes themselves in mornings and afternoons, we pretty well have to provide those. We have to find a way to make that happen," says Ball.

Both districts know a crunch is inevitable, but are working out the details on how to adjust. And they can only hope prices will come back down.