Larsen Announces Speedier Payout of Impact Aid Funds for Federally-Impacted School Districts in Northwest Washington

Oct 25, 2012 Issues: Education

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today announced that federally-impacted schools in Northwest Washington will receive more of their federal Impact Aid funding immediately. Six local school districts that serve military communities and Indian tribes rely on Impact Aid funding to make up for lost property tax revenue. The U.S. Department of Education will now provide immediate payment of 70 percent of the amount due to school districts instead of the only 45 percent that was previously announced.

“Impact Aid is a lifeline to school districts that keeps teachers in our classrooms,” Larsen said. “Too often schools are left hanging, not knowing when or if they will get the funding they need to keep operating. This announcement goes a long way in providing schools the certainty they need to operate this year.”

Larsen authored the Impact Aid Timely Repayment Act to require the Department of Education to fully reimburse Impact Aid school districts in a timely manner to eliminate uncertainty for school districts. That bill has bipartisan support and was approved by the House Education and the Workforce Committee earlier this year.

“I am working to pass the Impact Aid Timely Repayment Act before the end of this Congress because it will allow our schools to better serve all of our students,” Larsen added. “Schools that serve our military communities and Indian tribes need to be able to plan their budgets and access the funding they are due.”

Public schools are required by law to accept all children from military families, Indian reservations and other federal establishments. Families in federal housing, however, do not pay local property taxes on this land, denying local schools of their traditional funding source. This puts a severe financial burden on school districts that educate a significant number of federally-connected children.

Six local school districts received Impact Aid funds in 2012. They are:

  • Oak Harbor School District: $3,974,795.65
  • Coupeville School District: $41,302.46
  • Marysville School District: $656,757.13
  • La Conner School District: $2,027,521.31
  • Ferndale School District: $337,396.36
  • Nooksack Valley School District: $58,799.82

More information on Larsen’s Impact Aid Timely Repayment Act can be found here.