Mississippi stands to lose $8 million in federal money normally designated for public schools and county government if Congress doesn’t pass legislation that reimburses them for having national forests in their areas.
Uncertainty about the availability of the funds comes at a time when school districts are finalizing their budgets for next year. Many could have to make cuts if the money doesn’t come through.
Thirty-six school districts, mostly in rural areas, would split a $4 million loss proportionate to how much national forest land they have in their areas; so would 36 counties.
No metro-Jackson counties are affected, but counties such as Amite, Forrest, Harrison, Jones and Smith all normally receive money.