Student Athletes Could Foot Bill For Higher Gas Prices

Greencastle School Board Considering Charging Athletes For Away Games

Several school systems in Putnam County are brainstorming ways to cut back on higher gas prices, and at least one district may be passing that expense along to student athletes.

The Greencastle School Board will vote Aug. 13 on a fuel surcharge to help cover the cost of busing students to away games, 6News' Rick Hightower reported.

"Students would pay a flat transportation fee for each sport they participate in and other extra curricular activities would do the same," said Greencastle Superintendent Robert Green.

The fee would likely be around $25, officials said.

Officials at South Putnam Schools said the district has also been hit hard by rising diesel fuel prices, up from $1.58 a gallon in May of 2005 to right around $4 a gallon now.

School officials said they would be scrutinizing extra curricular trips, including athletics.

"We're looking at the least number of buses we can provide to get all of our athletics where they need to go," said South Putnam Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt.

That might mean doubling or even tripling up on buses with boys and girls teams, plus cheerleads, all taking the same bus, Bernhardt said.

Also in Putnam County, Cloverdale Schools officials said the school's athletic department pays its own transportation costs, but that the district would be cutting back on field trips to help cut costs.