Vital Impact Aid funding in NDAA

U.S . Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), Monday announced that important Impact Aid funding was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 that passed out of the SASC late last week.

The bill authorizes $25 million in supplemental Impact Aid to local educational agencies with military dependent children.  In addition, it authorizes $5 million in Impact Aid for schools with military dependent children with severe disabilities.

Impact Aid compensates local school districts for lost revenue because parents of children who attend these schools live or work on federally-owned property and are thus exempt from local property taxes. In Oklahoma, over 200 school districts rely on this funding due to military bases, American Indian nations, and other federal lands within their district.

“I have long supported fully funding Impact Aid, and these funds included in this year’s NDAA will play an important role in our state,” said Inhofe.  “Impact Aid is the only federal education funding that comes with no strings attached and can be used for a wide array of educational needs.  Many schools in Oklahoma rely on funds received from Impact Aid to keep their teachers paid, their resources updated and their doors open.  We cannot allow our schools and students to be penalized by not providing adequate funds for Impact Aid.”

Dr. Pam Deering, Assistant Superintendent of Fiscal Services for Mid-Del Schools and the President for the National Council for Impacted Schools, said, “The Midwest City-Del City School District benefits greatly from Impact Aid monies. We laud the increase in Impact Aid monies for all children and in this case, monies for school districts with military dependent children. We are encouraged that more Impact Aid funds will assist in fully funding the program.”

Barry Beauchamp, Superintendent of Lawton Public Schools said, “This funding is tremendously exciting news during a time of cuts in education funding, and it will allow school districts affected by Impact Aid to continue programs that otherwise would have been eliminated. This is a win for our students. We are blessed to have the support of Senator Inhofe on this issue, and we are thankful for his support for the future education of our children.”

Impact Aid has long been one of Inhofe’s top education priorities.  In 2010, he joined the Impact Aid Honorary Committee for the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools.