USDA issues $232 million to support rural public schools, infrastructure

April 15, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is issuing more than $232 million to states to support rural public schools, roads and other community services.

The funds are being distributed through the agency’s Secure Rural Schools Program to 41 states and Puerto Rico, who will redistribute the money to 745 eligible counties.

The program is intended to support quality of life in counties that include national forests and grasslands.

“National forests and grasslands cover more than 193 million acres, including across rural counties that are important partners in helping sustainably manage resources,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

The funding aids schools and roads, reimburses counties for national forest emergency services. Over the past decade, the Forest Service has distributed $2.4 billion through the Secure Rural Schools program.

Resource advisory committees made up of residents representing varied interests and areas of expertise review and recommend projects that meet their local needs.

The funding distributed this month represents allocations for Fiscal Year 2023, the USDA said.

States receiving the most funding include:

  • Oregon – $47.7  million
  • California – $33.7 million
  • Idaho – $21.5 million
  • Washington – $15.1 million
  • Montana – $13.3 million

Photo by Warren LeMay

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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