Mar 01 2012
A congressional vote Tuesday night brought good news to Wall, Custer, Hill City and other schools that receive federal impact aid but were on a list to lose that funding in a budget proposal for next year by President Barack Obama.
The House Education and Workforce Committee passed legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., reauthorizing payments to schools under Section 8002 of the impact aid program. The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.
Section 8002 sends money to certain school districts with federal property within their boundaries. That includes national park and forest land in the Black Hills, as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land along the Missouri River.
In 2009, the Custer School District got $551,651 from Section 8002. The Hill City district received $441,680, the Wall district $548,932 and the Hot Springs district $100,243. Among others on the 8002 list, Pierre received $278,679 and Stanley County schools $447,357.
Noem said it was essential that funding stream continue, as districts with federal land suffer from lost property taxes.
“The impact aid program is one of the oldest federal education programs in the country and continues to provide critical resources to school districts that lack resource due to federal ownership of land and the resulting diminished property tax base,” Noem said in a news release issued Wednesday.
Other sections of the impact-aid program covers school districts with students who are “federally connected,” including Native Americans and those tied to military bases. Obama did not propose ending those payments.
In 2009, Douglas School District received more than $6.9 million through the other sections of impact aid, Todd County received more than $9.3 million, and Shannon County almost $7 million.