JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Every parent of a school-age child knows that sooner or later their child is going to come home with information about the most dreaded word in education - fundraising. You start targeting your neighbors, hoping to be the first one in the community to ask them to make a purchase. You call relatives and friends and invite them to browse through the fundraiser catalog. The ritual begins - another season of selling cookie dough, holiday ornaments and magazine subscriptions.
Did you know there is a way that you can make a financial contribution to your school district without competing with other families for customers? Just fill out and return the Parent-Pupil Survey that your child's school sends home each year, usually during September or October.
Survey results are used to assess the number of federally connected students enrolled in the district. This number is reported to the U.S. Department of Education in the form of an application requesting Impact Aid.
Impact Aid was passed into law by Congress in 1950 as a means of providing for the education of federally connected children - children of military service members and Department of Defense employees, among others. Ordinarily, school districts receive funding from property taxes paid by individuals and local businesses. However, military installations are exempt from property taxes and often military service members claim their home state for purposes of taxation, not the state where they are temporarily stationed. Though beneficial for the service member, this contributes to a significant loss of revenue for local school districts.
To off-set this loss, the DoE provides a supplement that is paid directly to school districts. According to the official Impact Aid website, "The Impact Aid payment for these students is intended to match the taxes lost as a result of the federal ownership of property, exclusive jurisdiction and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Relief Act. The funds go directly into the school district's general fund for operations such as purchase of textbooks, computers, utilities, and payment of staff salaries."
To be eligible to receive Impact Aid, a school district must have at least 400 federally connected students in their Average Daily Attendance or federally connected students must account for at least 3 percent of the district's ADA. This is why your response to the Parent-Pupil Survey is so critical. Underreporting excludes districts from receiving funds and places a financial burden on districts to provide educational services to students.
Whether you live on base or work for the DoD in some other capacity, take the time to complete and return the survey to your child's school and contribute to this often overlooked fundraiser.
To learn more about Impact Aid and the formulas used to determine appropriations, visit the following sites: www.nmfa.org
Contact Cicely McCray at the Weapons Station at 764-7869 or Christopher Gerry at the Air Base at 963-4438 for more information.