Getting your child to school is costing more - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Getting your child to school is costing more

Albany- Dougherty County Schools don't have a choice. Every day 153 buses make sure 11 thousand riders have a way to and from school, but at what price.

"This time this year compared to last year, we're paying about 72 cents more a gallon for diesel and gasoline, but the buses are diesel," said Dr. Sally Whatley, Superintendent Dougherty County Schools.

That adds up, and it's pushing the transportation budget toward empty.

"It could put us in excess of 150 thousand dollars over budget," said Whatley.

Administrators say, it's not an issue they can control. They'll just handle it as best they can.

"It is frustrating and it's one of those things that is hard to know how to budget, but obviously it's increased our budget beyond what we were anticipating," said Whatley.

The district does have a contract similar to the cities and they pay $1.84 and $1.96 for diesel and gasoline.

"You always anticipate fluctuation in prices but we couldn't have expected paying 72 cents more," said Whatley.

It's something they're seriously thinking about when it comes to planning for next school year.

"We will budget for next year looking at the prices now which are excessive for us, but we've got to get our children to school," said Whatley.

The good and bad news is, while it will affect the district's operating expenses it won't be at the cost of the students education.

"That's the main thing that we do, provide quality education for our children and so that's always going to be the top priority," said Whatley.

Eleven thousand of the district's 17 thousand students use buses to get to and from Dougherty Counties schools.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com