WATERFORD, Mich. - School districts across Oakland County are adjusting their budgets and enacting cost-saving measures to cope with rising fuel prices, according to Spinal Column Online.

"Individual districts are working on ways to reduce their operational costs by consolidating bus runs and routes, reducing bus idling times, examining bus stop locations and reviewing their operational practices to determine other cost-saving measures," Lori Richardson, program director of transportation services for the Oakland Intermediate School District, told Spinal Column Online. "Oakland Schools is continuing to work with districts to evaluate their transportation operations and assist them in implementation of cost-cutting measures whenever possible."

Last fall the ISD consolidated some of its special education bus routes and eliminated a 15-minute window where buses would idle. The measure saved the county schools about $3.5 million, Spinal Column Online reported.

Some districts are also participating in a fuel consortium. The Macomb/Oakland Fuel Consortium Aggregate Bus Fuel Purchasing Program allows schools to band together to purchase bus fuel at lower prices. Individual districts are consolidating runs or seeing transportation savings from new all-day kindergarten programs, according to Spinal Column Online.

Spinal Column Online, "Schools consider changes to deal with rising fuel costs," July 29, 2008

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Empirical Studies on Cost Reduction", in "A School Privatization Primer," June 26, 2007