U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz praised the decision by the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agency Appropriations Subcommittee to maintain $67 million for the federal property component of Impact Aid in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.
In February 2012, concerns were raised that this vital funding could be eliminated and that Hatboro-Horsham School District would be negatively impacted. Schwartz then sent letters to the House Appropriations Committee, as well as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, urging them to recognize the importance of Impact Aid to our local community.
"As a senior member of the House Budget Committee, I take very seriously the need to cut spending and reduce our nation's deficit. However, we must also protect strategic investments in education to ensure that America remains competitive in the 21st century global economy," Schwartz said. "We have a responsibility to provide every student with a high-quality education and to support our nation's military families. That is why I worked to ensure this critical funding remained for the Hatboro-Horsham School District."
Since 1992, the Hatboro-Horsham School District has received Impact Aid to make up for lost revenue from the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove (NAS JRB). While the base officially closed in September 2011, the community continues to finalize plans to redevelop the land. Until this process is complete, the NAS JRB Willow Grove property will continue to contribute nothing to the school district's tax base.
If the federal property component of Impact Aid is not funded, the Hatboro-Horsham School District could lose $650,000 annually, putting enormous pressure on an already strained school budget.