The most important vehicle for school districts receiving ED Impact Aid funds is the annual application process. The Impact Aid statute (Title VIII of the ESEA as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act) requires that all school districts seeking funds under the Impact Aid Program submit an application to the Department of Education in order to qualify. These applications are due no later than January 31.
School Liaisons need to know that a critical part of the application process is the annual district administration of parent surveys or source checks. The data from these surveys is a key part of a district’s qualifications for receiving Impact Aid. Districts administer this survey at different times of the year, and it is important for School Liaisons to know when the school districts they work with administer the survey. More information is provided below.
Districts must include in their application the number of federally connected children enrolled in their district. The applications are submitted electronically by districts through the e-Application system (the link can be found in the Resource section of this module) and are generally available in November, allowing school districts plenty of time to collect and organize the data submitted in the application prior to the January 31 deadline.
The entire process includes the following steps:
- Survey parents.
- Submit the application.
- Keep required records - Necessary records include original survey forms, enrollment data, copy of the prior year’s ADA, list of students with IEPs and their supporting documents.
- Conduct field review – This is a site visit by a Department of Education staff. All supportive documents submitted for the application must be on hand, including documentation of Reserve and National Guard members that have been activated.
- Distribute payments – Payments are made in stages and priority is given to Heavily Impacted Districts.