Triplicate staff

A California senate bill intended to provide millions of dollars to rural schools, including those in Del Norte County, passed its first hurdle Wednesday.

S.B. 130 was proposed by California Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, to offset the loss of school funding from the recently expired Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act.

In 2000, the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act was used to ease the financial burden on schools that traditionally relied on funds generated from the National Forest Revenue Act which, through the sales of timber on National Forest land, provided revenue for rural schools.

andquot;This measure will provide the loan assistance that rural school districts rely upon, preventing teacher layoffs and elimination of vital school programs,andquot; Aanestad said in a press release. andquot;The intent of SB 133 is to ensure that the doors to every campus remain open for all students.andquot;