School officials in Lincoln County say their daily average fuel cost last year was about $2,300. It was enough to overspend their fuel budget by $130,000.
“We run 66 buses a day. We average about 6,200 miles a day,” says Lincoln County Schools Transportation Director Ronnie Deatherage.
With diesel fuel at an all time high, and concern that the prices could go even higher this year, there's some serious talk of students having a 3 day weekend, every week of the year.
“All I've heard is positive talk about it,” said Deatherage, who admits, though, that he hasn’t conducted a lot of polling on the issue.
But local reaction of kids staying home an extra day is mixed.
“It would be a problem because I work. My husband works, There's nobody else to watch our kids,” said Lincoln County parent Cassie Burton.
“It would sure save on gas. Would help me out on appointments. And different things working around school. We could use all the help we could get as far as that goes,” said Bridget Coy, who likes the idea of a 4 day week for her two children.
The extra day off would be made up by extending the four days school would be in session.
“Instead of getting out at 3 o’clock, it might mean getting out at 4:15 or 4:30 (in the afternoon),” said Deatherage.
Right now the proposal is only in the discussion phase and it's not known if it would even be considered for the 2009 school year.
“But obviously we're not going to do it this year. We think it's something that will be looked at in the future. Not only in Lincoln County but in other counties because of the cost of fuel,” said Deatherage.