Module Summary

Module Overview: This module provides information about the history of Impact Aid programs from the Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Defense (DoD), their purpose, how they are administered and suggestions for improving the participation of military families in Impact Aid form collection processes for the ED Impact Aid programs.

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Key Points:

  • Impact Aid programs from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Department of Defense (DoD) provide financial support to school districts serving military-connected children or are located on federally connected land.
  • Schools that receive Impact Aid sometimes operate with less local revenue available to other school districts because Federal property is exempt from local property taxes.
  • Impact Aid programs support local school districts with concentrations of children that reside on Indian lands, military bases, low-rent housing properties, or other federal properties, and to a lesser extent, concentrations of children who have parents in the military or employed on eligible Federal properties.
  • Impact Aid is a major source of general funding for 9.8 percent of U.S. school districts, and in some cases supplies as much as 75 percent of the local educational operating budget.
  • The Impact Aid program receives approximately $17.5 million annually for school construction that are distributed by formulas or competitive grants.
  • Federal funding for Impact Aid include payments for Federal property, basic support, children with disabilities, and construction grants.
  • Basic Support Payments account for nearly all Impact Aid funding, and districts must have at least 3 percent federally connected students in their average daily attendance or 10 percent of total student enrollment who live on Federal property or whose parent works on Federal property to be eligible for funds.
  • Impact Aid calculations are based counts from the previous year, so funding only impacts a current school year.
  • School Construction Payments help federally impacted areas finance education capital needs but unlike other Impact Aid programs, they are competitive, not formula grants.
  • The most important vehicle for school districts receiving ED Impact Aid funds is the annual application process, due no later than January 31 of each year.
  • When identifying federally connected children in their enrollment, school districts can count the number of children by conducting an annual survey of parents or by conducting a source check. A source check is when a district provides the installation or employer with a list of children it believes to be federally connected and the installation or employer verifies the status.
  • Federal funding for Impact Aid varies by program.
  • Eligibility for DoD Impact Aid programs is determined by ED.
  • There are three types of DoD Impact Aid programs:  the Impact Aid Supplement Program, Impact Aid for Children with Severe Disabilities Program, and Impact Aid for Large Scale Rebasing Program.
  • DoD Impact Aid programs assist school districts that experience increased enrollment of military-connected children, but do not enjoy the benefits of added property tax revenue from military families.
  • School Liaisons and school leaders must work together with families to ensure that the return rates on Impact Aid survey forms are a high as possible in order to maximize the potential financial impact.

Looking Forward:  Next, learn about school choice and the role of the School Liaisons in making sure that families make informed decisions about their child’s education.

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