Montgomery, AL – This summer's rising gasoline prices are hitting state school buses pretty hard. Joe Lightsey is the Transportation Director for the state Education Department. He says school systems across Alabama are paying as much as 30 cents per gallon more for fuel than they did a year ago. That's an almost 25 percent increase in cost for schools, which are now paying about a dollar-25 per gallon. School systems don't have to pay sales taxes because of the volume of fuel they buy, so they can negotiate better prices than the average consumer. Lightsey says the sharp increases in fuel costs over the last two years mean Alabama's school systems could be forced to make up a difference of about four million dollars.