Teachers say field trips are important for students to get hands on learning outside the classroom, but cutbacks in schools are making the trips more difficult. Officials at a popular destination for schools who say the cut back trips are hurting their facility.
Many school officials say tight budgets are keeping their busses close to home.
Bryan Auxier, principal at Paintsville Elementary says, "We've definitely made some cuts. We haven't gone as far this year and we've limited the number we take out of town."
Officials with the East Kentucky Science center say it's a similar story from most schools. Linda Lyon with the Science Center and Big Sandy Community and Technical College says schools are cutting back on the number of trips, and those travelling a long distance have cut out trips to the center all together.
"Not very many schools from far away, and I put that down to the gas prices. Gas prices made an immediate impact on the science center," says Lyon.
She says field trips bring in a lot of money for the Science Center, and without those funds, they have fewer exhibits to offer.
"The students suffer when the economy is in the shape that it's in, because this center was developed to help broaden the experiences in science for the students in this area," says Lyon.
Paintsville officials hope to take more trips soon, but say next year's budget is unclear.
"Fuel prices have gone down, but the state is talking about cutting some of the funding to the school system so we may have to keep the limitations in place to deal with that," says Auxier.
He says he plans to continue trips to the science center because it is close by, even though most other trips are cut. Officials with the science center say some schools received grants to pay for certain field trips, and they are seeing a small increase in scheduling for the spring.