(Via Ho’okele News)
All public school students on Sept. 3 will receive the Federal Impact Aid Program Survey Form and a letter signed by Kathryn S. Matayoshi, state superintendent of education. Parents need to complete and return them the next day.
This form is the required source document for the federal government to pay a share of the cost of educating each child who lives on or is employed on federal property for the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) and other mainland school districts affected by local tax losses resulting from tax-free federal installations.
Here in Hawaii, most of the federally connected students are military family members or federal employee family members. The federal impact aid funds generated go to reimburse eligible school districts throughout the nation for funds spent the previous school year, and go directly into the school district’s general fund.
Upon receipt, the school districts determine how expend these funds. HIDOE has used its impact aid funds for things such as textbook and computer purchases, utilities and staff salaries.
Because impact aid is only a partial reimbursement, school districts spend a lot more than what they receive to educate federally connected students. In school year 2013-2013, HIDOE’s cost of educating a child was $13,160, whereas it received an average of $2,669 per federally connected child.
“The Federal Impact Aid Program is often misunderstood. Federal law requires the impact aid funds to go directly to the school district’s general fund for money already spent. We strongly encourage all military and other federally-connected parents to complete this form as failure to do so results in the loss of federal funds that benefit the schools in Hawaii that serve both the military and local communities,” according to Darren Dean, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam school liaison officer.