Owens flies to D.C. to help secure funding for county schools
As part of the fly-in, the NFCSC will be sending hundreds of representatives from all across the country into D.C. to lobby for the bill's renewal. Since the bill was established, its primary purpose has been to secure Title I funding for forest counties. If the bill isn't renewed, it could mean drastic funding cuts for Lassen County, among many other forest counties across the country.
"At the end of September, the bill officially ends and we will get one more payment probably in January of '07," Owens explained. "But people are getting optimistic that we're going to get a one-year extension. I am not as optimistic."
"The problem is funding," said District 4 Supervisor Brian Dahle, who will also be part of the fly-in. "Everybody's in favor of this legislation but trying to get funding is the biggest hurdle."
In his latest budget, President Bush proposed extending the program for the next five years, but didn't provide the money needed for it.
"We hope there's at least a six-year extension,” Owens said, “but until something is signed — especially in light of Katrina, the ongoing war and a huge federal deficit which I've commented on before — I question whether this is going to happen. We are looking at another area for appropriations because even though this is the president's bill there's not money attached to it as yet. Until it's passed and the president signs it, then we do not have any additional money coming in other than this last payment."
Owens will be one of the team leaders during the fly-in. The NFCSC teams intend to meet with all 435 U.S. Representatives and 100 Senators. As part of that effort, Owens and his team are planning a meeting with Pete Stark, California’s 13th District House Representative, to lobby for the bill's renewal.
For the Full Story, see the Sept. 12 Lassen County Times.
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