Rep. Kristi Noem today announced that she has introduced a bipartisan bill to streamline and modernize the Impact Aid program which helps level the playing field for many South Dakota school districts with large amounts of federally impacted land including military bases, Indian lands and federal property.
Noem worked with Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) to author The Local Taxpayer Relief Act. The legislation reauthorizes the Federal Impact Aid Program and improves it by increasing efficiency, eliminating subjectivity, and providing greater flexibility to school districts. The bill has been endorsed by the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools.
"Many of South Dakota's school districts are on or near federally impacted land, such as Ellsworth Air Force Base, nine Indian Reservations and other federal lands," said Rep. Noem. "It's important that we level the playing field for these districts who experience a lower local property tax base due to this federal land or educate federally connected students. I was proud to work with Rep. Larsen in crafting this common-sense, bipartisan bill to make sure we are supporting our schools and students."
Noem also noted that this legislation strengthens the Impact Aid program without increasing government spending.
"Impact Aid is a lifeline to school districts that keeps teachers in our classrooms," said Rep. Larsen. "This bipartisan bill will provide permanent reliable funding to our schools, allowing them to provide the best opportunities to our students today and well into the future. Rep. Noem has been a great partner in this effort and I look forward to working with her and the rest of our colleagues to pass this bill."
Impact Aid helps local taxpayers by reimbursing school districts for the costs associated with federal property and educating federally connected children. Together, over 1,300 of these impacted school districts educate more than 11 million children across the country.
Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
List of South Dakota School Districts Receiving Impact Aid:
Source: Department of Education, Fiscal Year 2010