House bill would help local schools

Protects funds to schools of military families

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

A bill to protect funding for schools that serve military families passed the House of Representa-tives last week as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

Federal properties, such as the Navy’s holdings at China Lake, are exempt from paying into the tax-revenue streams that normally fund local schools and governments.

In order to mitigate the loss of revenue for schools that serve military families, Federal Impact Aid payments are made to local districts.

The Sierra Sands Unified School District has historically collected millions each year in impact aid money, though the amount – and the timing of payments – is often erratic. In the latest round of budget discussions, impact aid money was put on the chopping block as one method of reducing the federal deficit.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy released a statement in defense of protecting the impact aid money in support of students whose families serve the military services and DOD.

According to McCarthy, House Resolution 3547 contains $1.2 billion in impact aid. “In addition, $66.8 million in funding is restored in the bill for impact aid federal property payments, which our local school districts rely on,” he said.

“Our community is home to the best and brightest at China Lake and Edwards Air Force Base. I am proud to fight for critical impact-aid resources to help our local school administrators and teachers ensure that the children in our community get the best education possible.”

“Sierra Sands Unified School District is grateful for Rep. McCarthy’s dedicated support and advocacy for the students and communities of Ridgecrest and China Lake,” said SSUSD Superintendent Joanna Rummer.

“As the congressman has continued his fight for education on our behalf, we feel so fortunate to have such a passionate and well-informed advocate. His understanding of the many and complicated issues related to the education of our students is truly impressive. We are lucky to have him as our congressional representative.”

At press time, the legislation still awaited approval in the U.S. Senate, as well as the president’s signature.

Story First Published: 2014-01-22