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Energy

Increasing gas prices are driving up costs for Montana school districts

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Fuel prices across Montana have once again hit record highs — and are starting to impact school districts.

According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Montana reached a record $4.22. Diesel fuel jumped to an average of $5.46, exceeding its previous record by more than a quarter.

Brian Patrick, Great Falls Public Schools director of operations, says the school district’s bussing service is feeling the pain at the pump. However, he says, the Great Falls school district splits the cost of fuel with its bus company when gas reaches a certain price.

“Obviously transportation is our biggest fuel user, and it’s required," Patrick said. "We really can’t scale back routes and do things differently there.”

Across the country, the average price of gasoline reached a record high of $4.36, tipping its previous record by a penny, according to the fuel-price tracking service GasBuddy. The price of diesel fuel also hit a record average high of $5.53 per gallon on Tuesday.

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