Education Week: Secure Rural Schools endowment faces long odds

A proposal to stabilize the federal Secure Rural Schools program has broad-based backing, but still could hit resistance.

Last month, Idaho and Oregon senators unveiled a bill to create a permanent endowment to offset declining revenues from federal timber sales.

The endowment carries a heavy price tag: a one-time cost of $7.1 billion.

“Even if it is reintroduced in the next Congress, which starts Jan. 3, the proposal faces long odds on Capitol Hill, where the Trump administration and many congressional Republicans are reticent to increase school spending,” Alyson Klein of Education Week wrote last week in a blog post about the endowment proposal.

The National Education Association and the National Association of Counties support the endowment proposal, Klein reported.

Idaho schools have received about $7 million a year in Secure Rural Schools payments, and the money is critical in districts from Kellogg and Mountain View to Salmon and McCall-Donnelly.

Nationally, 4,400 schools received a total of $256 million from the program in 2016-17, affecting some 9 million students.

 

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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