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Letter to the House on the energy bill, which includes a critical provision on Secure Rural Schools

December 05, 2007

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the NEA's 3.2 million members, we urge you to support H.R. 6, which could come before the House of Representatives as early as this evening. This important legislation contains a critical provision to ensure that schools located in timber dependent rural areas have secure funding into the future.

Among other priorities, H.R. 6 contains a provision that would reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (P.L. 106-393) through 2011. These funds are critical to the survivability of over 775 rural counties and 4,400 schools near national forests in 42 states across the country. The Secure Rural Schools and Communities program has made a real difference for schools in rural, timber dependent counties, by ensuring them a consistent funding stream. Prior to implementation of this program, schools in heavily timbered 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.

Unfortunately, P.L. 106-393 expired at the end of 2006 and is currently operating on a one-year extension. Failure to provide a more permanent solution for these schools and counties would be devastating. A longer-term solution is included in H.R. 6 and we urge your support.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy