The National Association for Music Education is one of sixty groups who have signed on to a letter opposing the elimination of Impact Aid Federal Properties in the administration’s FY15 budget request.
The letter addressed to Sen. Tom Harkin, Sen. Jerry Moran, Rep. Jack Kingston, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, reads in part:
“When Impact Aid was created in 1950, the federal government accepted the responsibility of a citizen, a business owner, a landlord in helping to finance public education – in areas with a federal presence. Today, Impact Aid provides critical funding to over 1,300 public school districts nationwide that educate military children, children residing on Indian lands, children living in federal low-rent housing facilities, children of civilian employees of the federal government, and the children in school districts with significant tax-exempt federal property.
“The budget request recommends the elimination of funding for Impact Aid (Title VIII), Section 8002 (Federal Properties) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Currently, this $67 million line item provides funding to over 200 school districts in 29 states as a replacement for the lost local revenue caused by the federal presence. Each of these school districts is unique – eligible property includesnational parks, grasslands and laboratories, Army Corps of Engineering projects, and both the Air Force and West Point Military Academies – however, they all face the same financial challenge: a loss of taxable property and, as a result, a loss of local revenue, but just as many students to educate. In some communities, the federal government is the largest landowner; many are small and in rural areas.
“Funding must be maintained for the benefit of all students in these districts. Cuts would cause financial harm as Impact Aid supports personnel and professional development, academic materials, transportation, technology, and other general operating expenses. Elimination of this funding stream would be a reversal on a 64-year commitment to federally impacted communities, so we urge you to continue funding Impact Aid Federal Properties.”