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Local School Bus Services Hit By Budget Cuts, Gas Prices

California School Superintendent Jack O'Connell says the state's money problems and the high price of gas are forcing school districts to slash their bus services. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has mor

Local School Bus Services Hit By Budget Cuts, Gas Prices

California School Superintendent Jack O'Connell says the state's money problems and the high price of gas are forcing school districts to slash their bus services. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more. 

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Local school bus officials say the price of diesel has increased a whopping 76 percent in the past year. That's important because most school buses are powered by diesel.

San Diego Unified's transportation department has consolidated many of its bus routes -- resulting in an earlier school day for some kids. In the Poway Unified School District, kids who used to ride the bus for free because they live near dangerous intersections or roadways now have to pay a fee.

O'Connell says the Governor needs to account for this problem by giving school districts extra funding to make ends meet. He says otherwise kids won't be able to make it to school.

<b> O’Connell: </b> We're not going to have kids in school, on task, preparing for their future. Instead we're going to have students missing school, we're going to have students how have to walk through areas that are conductive to being a safe route to and from school. 
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O'Connell says some districts are doing way with bus transportation all together. Parents and school leaders are rushing to organize carpools before the school year begins. 

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.