CONTACT: Erika Ross, (571) 458-7925, [email protected]
Washington, D.C. (April 1, 2020)—The Coalition for Military-Connected Student Success strongly supports increasing funding for Impact Aid. We are pleased that the FY2020 appropriations agreement provided a $39 million increase for Impact Aid Basic Support payments to school districts with reduced local tax revenue due to the presence of military-connected students and a $1 million increase for Federal Property payments to reimburse school districts for taxes lost due to federal ownership of land.
While these funding increases will be welcomed by local school districts and will better enable them to meet the educational needs of all their students, we renew our call for Congress and the Administration to continue increasing the funding for Impact Aid in FY2021, as the needs of districts still outstrip the funding provided.
The program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, provides needed financial support to school districts that have diminished property tax revenue because of tax-exempt federal property, including military installations, or that have increased spending due to the enrollment of federally-connected children, such as the students of our nation’s military service members.
There are nearly 800,000 federally-connected children in more than 1,100 school districts across the country. These school districts face special challenges—they must provide a quality education to the children living on federal lands, such as military installations, while also meeting the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), all with a reduced tax base and thus fewer resources than other school districts.
School districts use Impact Aid for a wide variety of purposes, including the salaries of teachers and aides; purchasing textbooks, computers, and other equipment; after-school programs; Advanced Placement courses; enrichment programs; and much, much more.
Service members increasingly make decisions about relocations and re-enlistments based on the quality of education available to their children. Military readiness is influenced by the difference Impact Aid can make in a school district because families seek the very best education for their children. When school districts serving military-connected students struggle, so does military readiness.
Without sufficient Impact Aid flowing to school districts, the education of military-connected children—and indeed all children in a given school district—will suffer.
The Coalition for Military-Connected Student Success seeks to provide policymakers with insights about the unique educational needs of the 1.2 million military-connected children and concrete recommendations on how to meet those needs.