Local

Osceola School District officials raise concerns about increased cost of fueling buses

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Like most people across the country, Osceola County School District leaders say they’re dealing with some of the highest gas prices they’ve ever seen.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

Transportation Director Arby Creach says the prices have become “outrageously high.”

READ: Central Floridians sound off as gas prices continue to jump

The district buys its fuel from a wholesaler. In just a week, its diesel fuel price jumped from $3.34 per gallon to $4.13.

“Our cost has gone up 40 percent, and that concerns us, because we budget from year to year,” Creach said.

The fuel budget is about $1,000,000 annually. A 40 percent increase would be an extra $400,000 if prices were to hold steady.

READ: Gas prices in Florida reach another record high

Unleaded gas for the district’s white service vehicles went up 48 percent since last week, or approximately 80 cents.

“This is the highest we’ve ever paid,” Creach said.

The district has reserves it can pull from to make up the difference to an extent. After that, Creach says school leaders would consolidate bus routes and get the most students on the fewest number of buses possible, and potentially use money earmarked for classrooms.

READ: Here’s how high the ‘quite disturbing’ gas prices could go

“The money has to come from somewhere else,” Creach said.

Osceola School District officials say if there’s a silver lining, it’s that Spring Break starts next week…a week where the buses won’t be running.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.