MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Every school district is feeling the impact of rising gas prices, no matter how many buses they run.
Joe Pinkerton, the supervisor of attendance, transportation, and residency for Maryville City Schools, said diesel was $2.95 when the school year started. It’s $5.10 today. The wholesale price has jumped $1.37 since Jan. 1.
Because many districts, including MCS, depend on contractors to oversee their bus service, this added expense will likely trickle down soon.
Outside of the routes handled by their contractor, Pinkerton noted the district runs six buses for transporting special needs students. On those six buses alone, he is expecting fuel costs to increase by more than 33% this month. That means their contractor is taking a bigger hit, on top of the increased costs on parts and tires.
“I think they’re looking at their costs, as well as what we have agreed to for the year,” Pinkerton said. “Of course, we work really well with our contractors.
“It’s something we have to work with because our end goal is to take care of the kids and get them to school safely. We have to work together no matter what those dollar amounts end up, we just have to find a different place to get them.”
Jefferson County Schools owns their buses, employs their drivers, and pays for their fuel. Their buses run on both regular and diesel fuel.
Superintendent Shane Johnston says the system budgeted $2.88 for a gallon of regular gas six months ago. Now they’re budgeting $4.88. In preparation for the next academic year’s budget, they’re considering budgeting up to $6.