Rural schools in California are facing a crisis because of a fight over President Bush's plan to sell $800 million worth of national forest.
Many rural schools get a huge portion of their budget from the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, which expired last year. Bush proposed selling 300,000 acres of national forests as a way of funding and renewing this Rural Schools Act, but that proposal was defeated. It's now back, as part of the president's recently released budget, and the White House is withholding that funding for rural school districts unless the forest sale goes through.
In Northern California, a number of rural school districts are looking at layoff as soon as mid-March.