ALBANY, N.Y. — Assemblyman Peter Rivera reintroduced legislation in June that would temporarily remove the diesel fuel tax paid by school bus contractors. Rivera originally introduced the measure in 2006.
The lawmaker cited fiscal pressures on school districts in the face of rapidly rising fuel prices. Contractors currently pay as much as 85 cents per gallon of diesel in local, state and federal taxes in order to fuel the 55,000 diesel-powered school buses that serve over 2 million children in 700 school districts across the state.
Rivera also amended the bill so it would require that all school districts have in place a plan for a four-day school week. A shorter week with longer days would help school districts save on school heating, electricity and pupil transportation costs, Rivera said. “By having plans in place for an extended school day but only a four-day school week, school districts will automatically save 20 percent in pupil transportation costs,” he said.
According to the bill, school districts would have to have the plans in place and submitted to the commissioner of the State Education Department by the end of August.