On January 21, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Thune’s (R-S.D.) bipartisan legislation to help federally connected schools retain funding during the COVID-19 pandemic was signed into law by President Joe Biden.
Smith and Thune’s Supplemental Impact Aid Flexibility Act will allow school districts participating in the Impact Aid Program to use previously reported student head counts on their Impact Aid applications for the 2022-2023 school year, ensuring that they do not need to recalculate federally connected students due to prolonged uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the pandemic continues to hit many Minnesota school districts hard, it’s important that districts receiving Impact Aid maintain reliable, stable funding so students can keep learning,” said Sen. Smith. “I’m glad we could once again deliver on this and ensure that while the pandemic continues to affect school operations, our Impact Aid districts won’t have to recalculate their student head counts.”
“It’s more important than ever for school districts in South Dakota that participate in the Impact Aid Program to have the funding stability and certainty they need for the upcoming school year,” said Thune. “That’s why I’m pleased to announce that this critical legislation is now law, which will be extremely beneficial to school districts across South Dakota and the nation.”
The Impact Aid Program provides funding to school districts with significant federal property within their boundaries or with federally connected students. The program helps school districts make up for local property tax revenue lost due to the presence of this federal property. Under normal circumstances, schools must conduct a student count each year as part of their application for Impact Aid, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made these counts difficult for many districts.