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SRS Program sends $22.8 million in support to rural schools in Idaho

Posted at 3:41 PM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 17:41:07-04

Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho), along with Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) are announcing $22.8 million from the Secure Rural Schools Program (SRS) will be allocated to rural schools and supporting infrastructure in Idaho.

The SRS funding is the third-largest sum received by any state in the US, behind California and Oregon. Under Idaho law, 30% of the funding will go directly to local schools with the remaining 70% being used on roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

The SRS payments play a critical role in maintaining educational programs for many Idaho schools in rural counties that contain tax-exempt federal lands. Despite the large sum of funding, the senators from Idaho expressed a need to alleviate the uncertainty for rural county governments without relying on federal support.

“SRS payments are essential for rural counties across Idaho and the West, but a permanent solution is needed,” said Crapo. “We cannot continue to rely on the yearly votes in Congress to provide reliable funding for schools, roads and infrastructure repair. It is imperative we reach agreement on a self-contained funding mechanism.”

“The federal government has hindered timber production on federal lands for decades, and Idahoans continue to pay the price,” said Risch. “Communities that would have once funded schools and infrastructure with timber revenue no longer have that option. I’m pleased we were able to secure SRS authorization and funding for Idaho’s rural counties, but we must continue to fight for a lasting solution and bring timber production back to its historic levels.”

More information about the administration of public funds is available on the State Treasurer's Office website.