WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/08/20]—Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) to help schools retain federal funding during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is now law. Their Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act was signed by President Trump last week.
“Sen. Thune and I set out on a bipartisan effort to make sure federally impacted schools across the country were able to get the investments they need to continue operating and serving students during this pandemic,” said Sen. Smith. “I’m glad we could deliver on this and ensure that Impact Aid applications and funding will not be disrupted.”
“It’s more important than ever that participating school districts have the funding stability and certainty they need,” said Sen. Thune. “That’s why I’m pleased the president signed this critical legislation into law to help ensure that Impact Aid schools can continue to educate their students now and into the future. Thanks to Senator Smith for helping to get this bill past the finish line.”
The Impact Aid Program provides funding to school districts with significant federal property within their boundaries or with federally connected students. The program helps school districts make up for local property tax revenue lost due to the presence of this federal property. Under normal circumstances, schools must conduct a student count each year as part of their application for Impact Aid, but such a count is likely to be difficult for many districts this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to the work of Sens. Smith and Thune, schools receiving federal funding through the Impact Aid Program will not need to recount their students during the pandemic. This will help prevent further spread of the virus.