By Sharon Kasica
School Liaison Officer
Public education is supported primarily by local (property tax revenues), state, and federal funding. Most school districts re
ly heavily on these resources to support educational programming - classroom instruction, extracurricular activities, faculty training, transportation, administrative services and more.
The recent dire economic conditions have placed most families, businesses, and government agencies in the difficult position of having to operate under severe budgetary constraints. Tighter budgets have placed people and organizations in the position of having to cutback, scale down, and in some cases eliminate services all together.
School districts are no exception.
The federal government recognizes that districts like Duval County face added economic pressure because real property (land) in this area has been purchased for use by the military.
This means that the county government loses the property tax revenue that it might otherwise have earned if the federal government had not acquired the property. Compensation for this loss, known as Impact Aid, is paid to the local school district for the "substantial and continuing financial burden" that results from federal activities.
Impact Aid is paid for federal property that is used to support military installations, low-income housing, Indian lands, and for children whose parents who work on or live on federal lands.
To be eligible to receive "Highly Impacted" federal funds, a school district must have at least 40% of its student population considered "federally connected."
Payments made under this program are based on mathematical formulas that consider the various types of federally connected children and the cost of educating a child in that district.
In order to qualify for these funds, the local school district must verify the numbers of federally-connected students served by its local schools. The Duval County School System will send The Federal Impact Aid Survey Form home with your child's Report Card on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 for Middle and High students and Thursday, October 26, 2017 for Elementary School students).
The Survey applies to parents who are Active Duty Members of the Uniformed Services OR Civilians who work or live on Federal Property. The names and addresses of the properties which apply to this funding source will be listed on the back of the form for easy information access.
Although the form is easy to read and review, there remain a few common misconceptions regarding Impact Aid:
"The schools are making money off of our children" - NOT TRUE! Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Impact Aid program is one of the oldest education programs, dating from 1950.
Like most federal programs, it was fully funded in its early years. However, since about the mid-1970's the program has been under funded. This means that local school districts, while receiving some federal funding, are NOT being fully compensated for the costs of the educational services they provide.
"They are collecting too much personal information in one place." - NOT TRUE! In fact, the information that is provided on the form is basic contact information available from school records. Parents are not asked questions about salary or family income, nor are they asked to provide social security numbers or other important identifying data. In most cases, they are simply asking parents to confirm the family information provided at the time of student enrollment.
"It's too much work to fill out all these forms again!" - NOT TRUE! Completing the Impact Aid form will only take a moment and the benefits of funding are worth it!
NS Mayport - Let us demonstrate our strong partnership with the local school district by reviewing and returning the Impact Aid forms. Be on the lookout in your child's first report card!
When it comes to serving the military children in this district the Duval County Public School System knows you can make a real IMPACT for them.
Sharon Kasica is the School Liaison Officer for NS Mayport. If you have questions or feedback about this article, she can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at (904) 270-6289 X1305 [office] or (904) 219-3894 [cell]. Or you can use this contact information to schedule a meeting with her in Building One.