Recent budget negotiations by Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia have resulted in restoration of revenues to rural districts from forestry activities on federal lands. Local school districts would receive more than $350 thousand dollars under this legislation. Both House and Senate passed the measure today that partially eliminates reductions in basic education funding for low-income districts.
“It is past the time that we restored funding to our rural schools. This bill along with funding in the supplemental operating budget lets our resources go back into our community,” said Braun.
The proposed funding fluctuates yearly depending on forestry activities and is now dependent on federal action to reauthorize distribution of those funds. Currently, 21 percent of Washington is designated as national forests which are exempt from property tax. Rural districts have relied on timber sales and revenues from logging on federal land but the state retains authority in how those funds are allocated.
“We’ve been able to put funding back into the schools and communities that need it most. Our work on this year’s supplemental budget prioritizes education and this is another way we can direct money back where it is needed.”