The President is expected to sign legislation soon to help mitigate loss of federal funds to school districts that participate in the Impact Aid and Migrant Education programs.
The bipartisan Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act will allow districts to utilize the student enrollment for Impact Aid certified from the 2019-2020 school year, thereby ensuring that schools do not need to recount federally connected students during the uncertainty created by COVID-19. This legislation also directs the U.S. Department of Education to utilize either school year 2018–2019 data or school year 2019–2020 data – whichever data are greater – to determine funding allocations to states for the Migrant Education Program.
Both the House and Senate passed the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act by unanimous consent. Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) sponsored the legislation in the House with Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA). Senators John Thune (R-SD), Tina Smith (D-MN), Steve Daines (R-MT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and James Inhofe (R-OK) sponsored this legislation in the Senate.
Impact Aid funding is provided to school districts that educate large populations of federally connected students, including those who reside on federal properties, tribal trust lands, and whose parents/ guardians are enlisted in the Armed Forces. The Impact Aid Program reimburses these school districts with non-taxable federal properties within their jurisdictions. More than 1,100 school districts participate in the Impact Aid program, that benefits approximately nine million students. Additional details are available here from the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools.
Migrant Education State Grants provide formula-based assistance to help meet the educational needs of children of migratory agricultural workers and fishers, including overcoming educational disruption and other challenges resulting from repeated moves.