Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD) announced today that the House Education and Workforce Committee passed her bipartisan Impact Aid legislation as part of H.R. 3990, the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act. Noem introduced this legislation with Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) reauthorizing the Impact Aid program last year. Their legislation, which was approved in committee last night, makes improvements to the Impact Aid program and will also speed up payments to impacted school districts.
"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 resources due to federal ownership of land and the resulting diminished property tax base. These are critical funds for South Dakota school districts and reforms to the program are needed. I'm pleased that my colleagues on the committee understand the significance of this program for states like South Dakota," said Noem.
Noem's legislation is particularly significant given that President Obama recently proposed eliminating Impact Aid Section 8002 payments for certain schools that have federal property within their districts in his budget proposal.
The South Dakota State Legislature has demonstrated the importance of Impact Aid to South Dakota, as shown by this week's nearly unanimous passage of H. Con. Res. 1018, which urges Congress to restore the Impact Aid Program. The Legislature "strongly opposes the elimination of section 8002 of the impact aid program by the President's Administration and advocates for the continuation of federal funding for this specific federal responsibility as has been the standard for more than sixty years."
Noem's bill would reauthorize section 8002, the section President Obama proposes to eliminate, along with the rest of the program.
The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.
Full List of South Dakota School Districts Receiving Impact Aid: