There's been a lot of discussion of rural issues in the news lately, from potential cuts to the farm bill and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) to threats to rural early education opportunities. For this Grant News Grab Bag, these issues are brought to the fore.
- CBO Report on SNAP: On Monday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on The Effects of Potential Cuts in SNAP Spending on Households with Different Amounts of Income. The CBO examined what would happen to households’ income if spending on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2016—which CBO currently projects to be about $77 billion—was cut by 15 percent. Some policymakers have proposed scaling back SNAP, a program in the farm bill, in order to reduce federal spending.
- Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) Program: This program supports projects that promote rural economic development and job creation. Proposed projects are encouraged to support rural areas where at least 20 percent of the population is living in rural poverty according to American Community Survey census tracts data. This emphasis supports the Office of Rural Development's mission to improve the quality of life for rural Americans, and to direct resources to those who need them most. Funds will be provided in the form of loans and grants. Read more.
- Financially Insecure Rural Schools: "Rural school districts and counties that have a lot of federal forest land will get less money from the U.S. government this year--$250 million less," reports NPR. After Congress allowed the Secure Rural Schools Act to expire in September of last year, nearly every state is losing money, with Idaho losing $26 million (going from $28 million to $2 million). NPR explores how the Basin School District, one of the few districts to use SRSA funding for pre-school, is at risk with the cuts. Get the full story.