Tell Congress: Don’t abandon rural schools

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By Amanda Litvinov

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Federal lawmakers are running out of time to restore funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS), which supplies critical funding for some rural counties to operate schools and other critical services.

SRS funding represents a commitment from the federal government to help support communities on or near federal lands, such as national forests, that were removed from local tax rolls.

But SRS expired over a year ago, and many rural school districts now face massive shortfalls that will erode educational opportunities for their students. The effects will be felt in pockets across the country: SRS funding supports 4,000 school districts in 41 states.

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You can help NEA urge Congress to include at least two years of Secure Rural Schools funding in the final FY 17 funding package that is expected by the end of April.

Learn from educators in rural districts how waning resources have affected their schools, and what is at stake now if SRS is not renewed:

“Unless Congress restores funding, many rural schools face new era of austerity”

“Rural schools prepare for budget devastation only Congress can reverse”

Reader Comments

  1. Well 31 plus years in education as a teacher, coach, principal and district superintendent and then back to teacher for ten years in four different states and in districts a small as 100 kids in an Eskimo village to large S. California districts has given me lots of looks at different successful things and those that failed. On Indian Reservations and the Eskimo village, those kids were able to go to boarding schools for free and some did. Some could go to the boarding school but stay at home they were so close. If they chose to do so its their right and I had no problem with it. If we were loosing very many kids my concern would have been, What are we doing that causes them and their parents to go elsewhere? I suggest that the problem is there is too much government telling what, when, where and how their kids should learn and is fighting too many parents and shoving junk down their throats while at the same time protecting kids who will interrupt and steal thee other kids education and even encourage it. GUESS WHO THE KIDS BELONG TOO! ITS NOT THE STATE NOR THE BIG CITY GOVERNMENT NOR THE NEA, OF WHICH I AM A LIFE MEMBER NOT THE FEDS, WHICH HAVE NO CONSTITUTIONAL JURISDICTION OVER THE SCHOOLS ANYWAY. Want to cut costs? Cut the Department of Ed. back from a cabinet level of waste to a much smaller agency that distributes help in the form of funds. Before it was an expensive cabinet level agency, it gave about 7-8% of a schools budget. Now it eats up billions and still only gives about 7-8% of a schools budget. They send people all over the U.S. collecting reports that could be mailed. Which is cheaper and faster? They try, and usually do, force ignorant and weak school superintendents into spending lots of money producing things in reports that congress never asked for. Cut that off! NO FEDERAL MANDATES. Now the states do the same thing. Decisions are best left up to the local school boards and that means curriculum too. ITS THEIR KIDS AND THEIR MONEY GOING INTO THE TAXES THAT PAY FOR THIS.

  2. Our children deserve a great education. This is not a good place to make government cuts. This idea is very shortsighted as our children are the country’s future.

  3. Rural Public Schools are the only strong positive educational opportunity for our students. Please do not forget that children’s lives and opportunities should always come first.

  4. WHY would any American want to short-change our children? What’s the point? Do you think the world came into being when you were born and will go out when you do? This is the future of our nation you are messing with! Education is critical. Skills are critical. Kids are smart–and they need the best education we can give them to compete with the other smart people in the world. WHY would you short-change our children? WHAT’S THE POINT?

  5. Why defund rural schools. Eveyone can’t get transportation to a private school or a charter school. Education is one of the most import things in our lives….

  6. I am very concerned about our rural schools and how funding cuts will be a disaster for them.
    I am sure that our President and Secretary of Education are not familiar with rural schools.
    It would not be easy for these students to go to charter schools or private schools that were not close to their homes. As stands now, buses transport these students to schools. There is much to consider when funding for these schools are cut. Please DO NOT CUT THE FUNDING.
    Sincerely,
    Peggy Cunningham
    Retired Teacher

  7. Having been an educator in rural schools for my entire career I realize how important it is to have adequate funding. Rural schools should not be abandoned.

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