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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 Montanareached 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 arecord 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.

Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Freddy Monares
Freddy Monares is a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio. He previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, covered the 2017 Legislature for UM Legislative News Service and interned with the station as a student. He graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2017.