Thursday, April 3, 2008

Education Being Strangled by Rising Fuel Costs

Fuel costs have risen dramatically over the last few years, putting a strain on everything from fresh produce to the educational system. For some businesses and organizations, fuel costs are higher than the company payroll…not too surprising considering gasoline is currently hovering around $3.50 per gallon.
The problem hits especially hard where unexpected changes in fuel costs are inevitable, and the yearly budget is already strained. The article in the Rapid City Journal outlines some of the issues associated with higher fuel prices, and how those issues affect the education of our youth. Many schools are already maxed out trying to provide a quality education, but the fuel costs are rising faster every day. Worst of all, the state government allotted a paltry 2.5% increase for education…the other 5% must be given to teacher salaries.
We aren’t going to see a dramatic change in circumstances unless we are willing to do things differently. Some school districts are considering paying mileage to parents who bring in their children; others are looking at central bus stops all children must be at in order to be picked up. Where do the answers lie?
As a state we are facing some daunting challenges, but we cannot continue doing the same things over and over expecting different results.

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