(February 10, 2021) WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, will serve as Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Impact Aid Coalition for the 117th Congress. Courtney will join fellow Co-Chair Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) to help lead the coalition of more than 90 bipartisan members to support and advocate for the federal Impact Aid program, which provides critical support to public schools impacted by nontaxable federal property, especially those that serve high numbers of school children from military and tribal nations families.
In Groton and Ledyard alone, public schools support the education of nearly 2,000 schoolchildren from such families, and they rely on federal Impact Aid funding. In 2020, after meeting with the Superintendents of Groton and Ledyard Public Schools to discuss their concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on crucial Impact Aid funding, Rep. Courtney introduced the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act (H.R. 8075). The bipartisan bill protects Impact Aid funding during the pandemic, and was signed into law on December 7, 2020.
“Eastern Connecticut is home to more servicemembers than anywhere else in the state, and that means that Impact Aid funding is critical to the success of our local schools even in non-pandemic years,” said Congressman Courtney. “We secured a victory for our public schools last year when our bipartisan Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act was signed into law, and this year I’m excited to join Congressman Newhouse to lead the Impact Aid Coalition, and to keep pressing this important work forward. The Impact Aid program provides support to schools across the country—many of whom are serving the children of parents who wear our nation’s uniform. I’m grateful for Congressman Newhouse’s leadership and strong support of the Impact Aid program, and I’m glad to join him as Co-Chair this year.”
“Impact Aid is critical for schools in my district of Central Washington and across the country,” Congressman Dan Newhouse said. “As co-chairs of the Impact Aid Caucus, we educate our colleagues about the importance of this program and the effects it has on schools and students in rural and underserved communities throughout the United States. I look forward to working with Rep. Courtney to continue advocating for Impact Aid and the students who benefit from it.”
“Impact Aid is an important funding source in nearly 1,200 school districts across the country. Congress’s longstanding bipartisan support for the program is critical to the strength of it,” said Hilary Goldmann, executive director of the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS). “NAFIS appreciates Representatives Courtney and Newhouse for leading our bipartisan House Impact Aid coalition. Their leadership in support of federally impacted school districts is important, ensuring that the students in these districts – including large numbers of military-connected students and Native American students, as well as students connected to other types of federal property – have access to the opportunities they need to meet their full potential.”
Because they serve such high numbers of military and tribal nations families, Groton and Ledyard Public Schools relied on 86% of Connecticut’s total Impact Aid funding in FY 19. That year, Groton Public Schools was awarded over $4 million in Impact Aid funding to help offset nontaxable federal property, and Ledyard Public Schools received over $1.25 million.
Nationwide, nearly 880,000 children servicemembers, children residing on Indian lands, and others are considered “federally-connected children” who are served by local educational agencies eligible for Impact Aid Basic Support payments. The Impact Aid Program was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1950, and is the oldest K-12 federal education program. Nationwide, approximately 1,200 school districts enrolling more than 10 million students benefit from Impact Aid funding. Click here to learn more.