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Schools Feeling Gasoline Crunch

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Officials say high gasoline prices may force many California school districts to cut bus services or pass increased transportation costs on to parents.

A spokesman for the California Department of Education´s Office of Transportation says many districts will increase fees while others will cut service or take the money from somewhere else.

Officials say when gas prices increase the smaller school districts get hit the hardest because transportation costs are a larger portion of their budgets and they don´t have the buying power to negotiate long-term purchase contracts at bulk rates.

Gas prices in California have gone up 62 percent in the last year to about $2.32 per gallon.

California doesn´t require districts to provide home-to-school bus service — except for special-needs students. But most districts offer it as a convenience to parents.

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