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Funds For Yellowstone Students A Puzzle

Gardiner School

What happens when there is a government sector that contains children who need educations but is not served by a school district.  US Senator Mike Enzi responded to the situation in Yellowstone National Park where funds used to compensate nearby Montana school districts became prohibited, saying the need is not provided for under Payment in Lieu of Taxes.  He says the Payment in Lieu of Taxes is a very complicated area, and although he has been defending it for years, he has never really looked at the implicates for education that might be involved in that.  Enzi says, “that’s supposed to take care of the roads and rescue, and other things like that counties have to provide for federal lands.”  Enzi says it is a situation that must be addressed, none-the-less.  He says while there have always been arrangements for the exchange of students between districts; it has had nothing to do with Payment in Lieu of Taxes – that’s had to do with education funding.  Enzi pledges, “I’ll have to look into that and see what the implications are.” The Interior Department this year called an end to Yellowstone which is primarily in Wyoming paying schools in Gardiner and West Yellowstone, Montana from funds collected in recreation fees, and demanded the revenues paid since 1977 be paid back.

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