Congressman Mullin last week introduced H.R. 2378, the Impact Aid Fairness and Equity Act of 2013, which deals directly with the Impact Aid federal property program.
Schools throughout Oklahoma are all too familiar with the Impact Aid Program, which provides financial compensation to school districts that are adversely affected by the loss of tax revenue caused by federal ownership of land or the enrollment of children whose parents work or live on federal lands. These "federally impacted" school districts rely heavily on funding from the Impact Aid Program. Unfortunately, the Impact Aid Program's resources are not allocated fairly.
Mullin said his introduction of the Impact Aid Fairness and Equity Act was in an effort to repair and simplify the Impact Aid Program.
"A person's education is a vital thing, and it is one we must work to protect," said Mullin. "Every student in Oklahoma deserves a quality education. Our state and nation has experienced difficult economic times and it is during these times that we must ensure what little funding we have for education purposes is allocated fairly. The Impact Aid Fairness and Equity Act will provide our children with adequate opportunities to learn and thrive."
School officials across the 2nd District agree with Congressman Mullin, citing the benefits of such legislation.
"We appreciate the effort of Congressman Mullin as he endeavors to generate more equity in the Impact Aid formula," said Scott Farmer, Superintendent, Sallisaw Public Schools. "The Impact Aid program is a vital component for school districts as they aspire to reclaim revenue that has been diluted as a result of government affairs. It is imperative that national leaders understand the importance of adequately funding our educational system and this measure is a declaration of that understanding."
"We appreciate Congressman Mullin's efforts to assist public schools," said Jon Tuck, Superintendent, Madill Public Schools. "Federal Programs are vital to schools and make a great difference in students' lives. Congressman Mullin has shown a willingness to work with school leaders and to address issues concerning students at the federal level."
The Impact Aid Fairness and Equity Act will improve the existing Impact Aid Program to ensure the fair distribution of funding to impacted school districts by guaranteeing all impacted school districts receive a more balanced basic support payment. The act also requires school districts receive payments that are equal to 100 percent of their learning opportunity threshold (the funding floor established in law) when funds allow. Additionally, the act makes all school districts under the Impact Aid Program eligible to compete for the construction grant program.