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North Carolina schools need more money to cover rising fuel costs for buses

The North Carolina State Board of Education will take a vote Thursday over whether it will ask the General Assembly for $32 million to cover rising fuel costs.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The rising cost of fuel is costing schools across North Carolina millions of dollars more than they anticipated to fill up school buses, and now education leaders are considering going to the General Assembly for help. 

The North Carolina State Board of Education will meet Thursday to vote on whether it will ask lawmakers to help schools cover the costs. 

The current state budget provides schools with $2.30 per gallon toward fuel costs, but diesel prices have been higher than that for months. According to AAA, the average price of diesel in North Carolina is $5.37. That's the highest average price on record. 

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Because the price of diesel has nearly doubled, state education officials estimate districts will need an additional $32 million to cover the costs. 

If the board votes to approve asking lawmakers for extra funding, the Department of Instruction will later revise the figure if prices change again. 

In addition to the request for bus fuel funding, the DPI is also asking for $20 million to cover other plans, including more literacy coaches and more staff in charter schools. 

Contact Tradesha Woodard at twoodard1@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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