House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.


Left Turns

June 4, 2008

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero
(202) 225-4527

Democrats Ignore the Burden of Gas Prices on America’s Schools

All around the country, schools are feeling the squeeze of skyrocketing gas prices.  AAA reports that the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has reached $3.98, while the price of a gallon of diesel stands at $4.78. 

For schools, that means it costs more to fill the tanks of school buses.  And money spent on fuel is money that can’t be spent in the classroom.  eSchool News reported yesterday on how schools are coping with the pain at the pump. 

"We have to cut programs just to buy gas. That's where it gets very frustrating. We get very angry about it," says [Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District Superintendent Jim] McCharen. 

And there's plenty to be angry about: Just keeping up with fuel prices has led administrators across the country to pay for gas with money that was supposed to be used for classroom programs. 

McCharen's district won't be hiring any new teachers for the upcoming school year, so the district can afford to keep its buses on the road.

Fully 17 months after the 110th Congress was gaveled into session, Democrats have yet to reveal their long-promised plan to bring down gas prices.  The Pelosi Premium has reached $1.65 per gallon, a 71 percent increase in the price of a gallon of regular gasoline under the Democrat majority. 

So what are Democrats doing for schools?  Instead of pursuing comprehensive energy solutions that will increase production, encourage innovation, and promote conservation as Republicans have proposed, Democrats are advancing legislation today that begins to federalize the building and maintenance of America’s schools. 

Democrats have proposed a $20 billion school construction boondoggle that will drain resources that could be used to support student academic achievement while usurping the rights and responsibilities of states and local communities, which are responsible for building safe and healthy schools.  All of this in order to create a new Big Government program so that Washington bureaucrats can exercise more control over states and local communities. Meanwhile, they continue to ignore the crushing burden of rising gas prices on our nation’s schools.  Still further evidence that the new direction of the 110th Congress is a sharp left turn. 

U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Republicans | (202) 225-4527