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Secure Rural Schools Funding Concerns
Eric Allen
Monday, March 20, 2017

Memo

To: Alton R-IV Parents, Patrons, and Employees

From: Dr. Eric Allen, Superintendent

Date: 3/20/17

Re: Secure Rural Schools Legislation & Funding Decreases

This memo and sharing of information is being provided to you in light of funding cuts to Alton R-IV’s Budget from the Federal Government. This specific funding source for Alton R-IV is referred to as Secure Rural Schools Funding and it is based on acreage within the Alton R-IV School District’s boundaries that includes a portion of the Mark Twain National Forest. We only get pennies on the dollar in tax revenues currently from the Federal Government for this portion of the Mark Twain National Forest compared to if this land was in private ownership and taxed at the same rate as other privately owned property within Alton R-IV’s boundaries. Now, the Federal Government is initiating cuts to this established level of funding not only for this year, but in coming years as well if the Secure Rural Schools legislation is not reauthorized.

A payment history of Secure Rural Schools money received from the Federal Government by Alton R-IV is on the reverse of this memo. Sadly, the trend is very easy to identify and is moving in a negative direction for Alton R-IV. 100+ school districts in Missouri are eligible for some amount of money through the Secure Rural Schools legislation based on the varying amount of Federal Government owned lands within an individual district’s boundaries. For 2015-16, Alton R-IV received the largest Secure Rural Schools Payment of any of these 100+ districts in Missouri. Conversely, when we were informed that this year’s additional reduction would be on a proportional basis for all of the 100+ school districts, this translates to Alton R-IV absorbing the largest cut for the 2016-17 funding cycle.

We are still holding out hope and working with Missouri’s elected Federal Officials that the Secure Rural Schools legislation will be reauthorized to previous funding levels by the Federal Congress by May of 2017. Email addresses to contact relevant U.S. Senators and Representatives are also provided on the reverse of this memo. If you feel compelled to reach out to Washington, D.C. in this matter, I would recommend contact by email with the heading being “Alton R-IV Secure Rural Schools Funding Concerns”. I have been able to obtain a more direct email address for each D.C. office through my outreach and lobbying efforts concerning this matter and those are on the reverse of this memo and will be a much more efficient means of contact as compared to the general public email from the official website.

More information, either positive or negative, will be provided as this situation plays out in Washington, D.C. over the coming weeks.

Historic Federal Forest Payments to Alton R-IV

2016-17: $133,267

2015-16: $263,391

2014-15: $280,012

2013-14: $261,705

2012-13: $326,951

2011-12: $340,141

2010-11: $345,004

2009-10: $343,376

2008-09: $414,440

2007-08: $352,281

Email addresses for contacting Washington, D.C.

Senator Blunt: Joelle_Cannon@blunt.senate.gov

Senator McCaskill: cindy_hall@mccaskill.senate.gov & David_Stokely@mccaskill.senate.gov

Representative Smith: donna.hickman@mail.house.gov