Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers recently assured constituents she was working to make sure the government delivers on its payments to school districts that have large hunks of federally owned land in them, like national parks, military bases or tribal lands.
She sponsored legislation to require the feds to pay up, and promptly, on this so-called impact aid. But in conveying her assurances to constituents, some staffer who drafted the letter (little secret: congresspersons rarely write their own letters) apparently forgot to look closely at the map.
I know first-hand the impact that the budget deficits have had on our schools,” McMorris Rodgerswrites in a Dear Friends letter. ” Late payments by the Department of Education have only exacerbated the situation in many school districts. The bill that I am supporting will remedy the chronically late distribution of Impact Aid payments many school districts receive from the Department of Education. For example, the Oak Harbor school district that I represent received a payment of nearly $1 million to conclude their Impact Aid payments due from Fiscal Year 2006 – three years after the initial award.
Oak Harbor? That’s a mountain range and a ferry ride away from the westernmost outpost of Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District. Unless they know something about redistricting that the rest of us don’t.