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Area Schools Will Receive Fed Funding

WASHINGTON, DC – The Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward County school systems are receiving $570,011, $390,829, and $698,370, respectively, in additional federal aid for schools.

The funding was contained in the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, which passed Congress.

Virginia Governor Robert R. McDonnell wrote to US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, last week requesting the funds made available to Virginia by the congressional legislation and Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello, who supported the bill, announced Friday the funds are coming.

The Fifth District will receive approximately $23.8 million from the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, a full paid-for package of aid to states.

Funds are designed to support elementary and secondary teacher, school-level administrator and other essential school-level staff salaries and related costs. The package will fund approximately 437 teaching positions across the district and mitigate cuts already made by state and local governments.

The bill was paid for, in part, by closing the tax loopholes that reward companies for sending jobs overseas. Rep. Perriello had voted and cosponsored legislation to close the loopholes several times.

“Investments in education are crucial to rebuilding our area's competitive advantage as we fight for good jobs and economic recovery in Central and Southside, Virginia,” said Rep. Perriello in a statement issued Friday announcing the funding. “This money is going to keep teachers in the classroom and prepare students to be competitive in a global economy. It was a fiscally responsible way to provide aid to localities and schools that have been hit hard during this downturn.”

The Virginia Department of Education will distribute funds as they previously distributed aid from the Recovery Act's State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. Money can be used by school districts to recall or rehire former employees, retain existing employees, and hire new employees that provide school-level services. According to Virginia's application for federal assistance, local totals requested are:

The aid to states package also included $289 million for its Medicaid program to help provide basic medical care to low-income Virginians. It extends enhanced Medicaid support to states that were originally enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for six months with a gradual phasing down to pre-Recovery Act levels. In February 2010, 47 Governors, including Governor McDonnell, wrote Congressional leadership asking for “assistance in protecting jobs and speeding economic recovery by extending the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) enhanced federal match for Medicaid (FMAP) for two additional quarters.”

In order to help pay for the aid to states, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act eliminated tax provisions that encouraged companies to ship jobs overseas, beginning in 2011.The current foreign tax credit is designed to prevent corporations from being taxed twice, once by the United States and once by a foreign country, for income that is earned abroad.

However, companies have devised schemes that enable them to operate offshore with essentially little or no tax liability to either the U.S. or the foreign government. As a result, U.S. multinational corporations paid an effective U.S. tax rate of just two percent on their $700 billion of foreign earnings, far less than the average worker pays on their income, the Rep. Perriello's office points out. Foreign tax credit abuse is among the Internal Revenue Service's top compliance concerns for large corporate taxpayers.

Among other area school systems, Appomattox will receive $608,837 and Charlotte will get $596,385.