Are gas prices cutting into your summer fun? Well, the cuts won’t stop there! In fact, this fall, school administrators say that more students will be walking to school! Why? Because there will be fewer buses. According to USA Today, fuels costs are up 40% from last year and school districts are slashing bus trips left and right. For example, in Ohio, many schools are providing buses only for students from kindergarten through 8th grade and only if they live more than two miles from school. In Michigan, schools have eliminated weekend bus transportation to sporting events. Leaving it up to parents to deliver the team’s athletes.
Another effect of high gas prices: This Fall in North Carolina, schools will provide buses only for athletic competition. So, money for buses for field trips and other events will have to be raised by students and booster groups. At least 86 school districts in North America have switched to a 4-day school week to cut costs. Including one district in Kentucky, which saved over $400,000 in just three years.
Busing advocates say that eliminating basic bus services threatens school attendance. Some students forced to find their own way to school may not go at all – which will increase drop-out rates. Cutting services also jeopardizes student safety. According to the National Academies of Sciences, about 800 students die each year going to and from school – but only 2.5% of those fatalities are bus-related. So, statistically, taking the bus is much safer.