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Congress Approves One-Year Extension of Secure Rural Schools Program

Posted Date: 
September 30, 2013
Ryan Yates, Associate Legislative Director, National Association of Counties

Last week the U.S. Congress passed legislation to extend Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding to counties and schools for an additional year (with payments disbursed to counties and schools in January of 2014). The funding was attached to the Helium Stewardship Act (H.R. 527)—which reauthorizes the sale of U.S. Helium reserves—and was approved by a margin of 97-2 in the U.S. Senate and unanimously in the U.S. House of Representatives. SRS funding continues to be a top priority for the National Association of Counties.

The extension of SRS will avert dramatic budgetary shortfalls in forest counties nationwide. Continued funding will ensure that students receive essential education services and that counties have funding for roads, conservation projects, search and rescue missions and fire prevention programs. 

Per language in the legislation, counties must elect to receive a share of the state payment or a share of the state’s 25 percent payment and elect the share between titles I, II, and III of the state payment. The USDA Forest Service will soon be issuing guidance related to deadlines for making county elections. 

While NACo applauds congressional action to avert a disruption in SRS dollars to forested communities, counties nationwide look to Congress to support a long-term legislative solution which couples payments to counties and active natural resource management to provide economic stability to forest counties and communities.

Please Thank Your Members of Congress!

Reach out to your Congressional delegation and thank them for their support of SRS and H.R. 527. To see how your Members voted, please click here: 

NACo Resources

To view NACo's legislative fact sheet on the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program, click here.  

If you have questions or need assistance, contact NACo Associate Legislative Director Ryan R. Yates at or 202.942.4207

Ryan R. Yates | (202) 942-4207 |