TOMS RIVER, N.J. – With the price of gas soaring ever higher in this country, it's not just households and businesses who strain to absorb the cost, but school districts as well.
School buses typically carry 100 gallons of fuel in their tanks, and are used for transporting children to and from school, for field trips and for bringing children in from rural areas. Budgeting is a concern already in many areas, and school officials said their districts had already budgeted this year's gas allowance before the most recent rise took place.
That means districts like Toms River in New Jersey are facing at least a 35 percent jump in gas prices (search) all of a sudden this year, which translates to the immediate need for $112,000.
"Last year we opened school paying a $1.99 a gallon and as school approaches right now, looks like it's going to be around $2.74," Michael Ritacco, Superintendent of Toms River Regional School District (search) told FOX News.
School officials know that the money to make up the difference will have to come from other areas in their budgets -- or sacrifices will have to be made.
"I'd say field trips are definitely in play and cutting back on the amount of buses that we use on some athletic trips," Ritacco said.
Toms River so far has taken to limiting the use of its buses, and other districts have resorted to charging the parents or telling students they have to walk to school.
Joe Villani of the National School Board Association (search) says in some areas solutions have had to get more extreme. "I also heard of a district in California that completely eliminated school buses because they just couldn't afford to run them," he said.
The problems don't end at student transportation. School districts nationwide have fuel-related delivery costs for food and supplies, and now the cost of heating may come into question.
Ritacco added, "I think the second and third step coming is what effect this is going to have on heating fuel."
Now perhaps the question may become whether schools will have to consider adopting alternative fuel solutions in order to avoid cutting back on other areas of the budget.
Click on the video box above to watch a report by FOX News' Todd Connor.