WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor, as prepared for delivery, in support of S. 2959, the Supplemental Impact Aid Flexibility Act.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S. 2959, the Supplemental Impact Aid Flexibility Act. This bill would allow school districts participating in the Impact Aid program to use previously reported student headcounts on their Impact Aid applications for the 2022-2023 school year.
“Impact Aid supplements funding for schools and students in areas that collect less in local property taxes due to the federal government’s presence. School districts that receive Impact Aid payments include those with military bases, Indian reservations, and federal low-income housing in or near the school district.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a big toll on school districts and communities across the country. It is especially difficult for federally impacted school districts to calculate headcounts due to fluctuations during the pandemic.
“Headcounts determine how much aid a federally impacted school districts receive. There are more than one thousand of them. This aid helps pay for staff salaries, busing, technology, and other educational supports and services for students.
“This bill ensures that Impact Aid recipients will not be affected negatively by the pandemic and temporary falling enrollment that has resulted. This frees up valuable time and resources to help students, while schools maintain a reliable source of funding as they address the academic, social, emotional, and safety needs of students.
“This bill will have no impact on government spending because Impact Aid is a discretionary program, and its funding level is established through the annual appropriations process.
“The trade association for Impact Aid school districts, the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, is strongly supportive of the bill.
“This bill is similar to one signed into law by President Trump on December 4, 2020.
“The Supplemental Impact Aid Flexibility Act ensures that students and schools relying on Impact Aid will not be affected negatively by the pandemic.
“Specifically, the bill allows schools to use their previously reported headcounts so that services students rely on will continue. This frees up administrators to use their valuable time and resources addressing the educational needs of students.
“Students in over one thousand federally impacted districts deserve the resources they receive from the Impact Aid program. The aid helps pay for a wide range of services students rely on, from busing and technology to educational support services.
“I encourage my colleagues to support S. 2959 and yield back the balance of my time.”