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.
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.
Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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