Payments for Secure Rural Schools Continue to Decline
The Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program provides counties in 41 states and Puerto Rico with a share of revenues from national forests. These payments are awarded to rural counties for the purposes of building schools and maintaining infrastructure. In 2008, Congress reauthorized the SRS program as a part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA; P.L. 110-343). The reauthorization allowed counties to elect to receive SRS payments according to a new formula for federal fiscal years (FYs) 2008 through 2011. While the program received a funding boost in FY 2008, the reauthorization gradually reduced payments. The U.S. Forest Service recently announced FY 2010 SRS payment levels, which declined 11% from FY 2009, and are now nearly equal to FY 2007 levels ($390 million).