the VOA Special English Education Report.
fuel prices are affecting all areas of life, including education.
United States has an estimated four hundred seventy-five thousand school buses
-- all painted yellow. Each day they carry more than twenty-five million
children, half of all schoolchildren in the country.
these buses, on average, use four liters of diesel fuel to travel less than
sixteen kilometers. When the school year began last fall, diesel averaged
fifty-five cents a liter nationally. The price nearly doubled, to a dollar and
eight cents, by the end of school in June.
Riley speaks for the American School Bus Council, an industry coalition. He
says fuel prices negotiated for schools are not much lower than others have to
result, schools are looking for ways to reduce transportation costs. Bus routes
are being redrawn or, in some cases, canceled. Some areas are buying buses
that use natural gas or other alternative fuels. And a few places are
investigating hybrid fuel-electric technology.
steps include fewer field trips and less travel by sports teams. And some
school districts may end any bus service not required by law.
states require bus transportation through high school for public school
students who need it. Massachusetts requires it only for elementary school. And
schools can charge to ride the bus. State education officials say some
districts may begin to do that, or raise existing fees.
show that school buses are the safest form of transportation to and from
school. The American School Bus Council say cuts in bus service are bad for
children and possibly the environment. It says removing buses from the road
will mean an increase in other vehicles transporting students. Spokesman Bob
Riley says another concern is that reducing bus service might reduce
could also get more children to walk or bicycle to school. And that would
surely make people happy at the National Center for Safe Routes to School. More
kids walking or biking safely to school is the aim of a three-year-old federal
program, part of an international movement. The goal is to increase physical
activity and reduce air pollution.
United States will celebrate Walk to School Day on October eighth this year.
But for some students, high fuel prices could make every day a walk-to-school
week, we'll talk about other ways that schools and students are reacting to the
And that's the VOA Special English
Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Steve Ember.