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School districts feeling pinch of higher diesel prices

Lots of Wisconsinites did a double-take when they first saw diesel fuel prices go above $4 a gallon.

But school districts and their bus-fleets must live with that hard reality so will taxpayers when the next tax bills come out.

Even a small district like Neillsville which has more than 20 buses and all of them run on diesel fuel that costs three times more than what it did five years ago.

Officials say those buses get around 5-7 miles a gallon.

In the Granton district in Clark County, officials are now using smaller gas-fueled buses for shorter and special trips like meetings.

Those vehicles get around 12 miles a gallon.

Schools do not pay federal gas taxes. There was also a proposal to eliminate the state gas tax, but that died when the regular legislative session ended last week.