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Letter to the House of Representatives urging them to provide funding for rural schools

April 07, 2008

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association’s (NEA) 3.2 million members, we strongly encourage you to include funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act in the supplemental appropriations bill.

The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act has made a real difference for schools in rural, timber-dependent counties, by ensuring them a consistent funding stream. The program has been an enormous success, providing essential funding to more than 4,400 rural schools. Prior to implementation of this program, schools in forest counties were in crisis, experiencing dramatic reductions in funding. The program has restored critical educational services for students in rural schools and prevented the closure of numerous isolated rural schools.

The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act expired at the end of 2006 and is currently operating on a one-year extension, which was authorized in Public Law 110-28, the Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007. Failure to reauthorize and fund this program will result in a substantial and devastating funding cut for rural counties across the country. To ensure the continuation of this essential funding stream for schools and communities in timber-dependent counties, we urge you to include it in the supplemental appropriations bill now before Congress.

We thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy