School Districts Rethink Their Budgets To High Price of Diesel - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

School Districts Rethink Their Budgets To High Price of Diesel

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PASCO, Wash.-- 83 school buses to serve 16 Pasco schools, the district is no stranger to the high price of gas.

"With the price of fuel as it is, we're terrified it's going to go further," said Jana Peterson, Transportation Supervisor for the Pasco School District.

Peterson says this past year drivers have tried their best to stay within the $475,000 budget.

"What they tried to do is make their route more economical so they're taking the shortest distance," said Peterson.

With so many students Pasco schools can't afford to cut back on routes, but they're trying other options.

"If the public sees buses parked, that's because drivers are waiting for their next route and not wasting fuel by going back and forth," said Peterson. 

But unlike the Pasco School District, the Finley School District only serves 3 schools, making it easier for them to merge routes and save some money on diesel.

"We've had a two tier routing system and now we're moving to a one tier routing system," said Lin Grant, Transportation Supervisor for the Finley School District.

But cutting the routes in half isn't the only change for Finley. Next year all students will ride the bus together.

"They'll be segregated on the bus, younger students will be in the front, and the older ones in the back," said Grant.

Grant says the Finley School District has 16 buses, with room for up to 75 students per trip. And last year's budget of $60,000 will probably stay the same.

"We're still going to be budgeting the same, even though we'll be traveling less miles," said Grant.

The Pasco School District says they're already planning on adding money to their budget for next year.

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