House Passes Amendment Restoring Impact Aid Funds to Illinois School District

The House on Tuesday approved an amendment to the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill that would provide additional impact aid funds to a school district serving military families based at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., that is slated to loss eligibility for about half of its current funding under the federal program intended to help school districts with large concentrations of military students.

The Mascoutah School District, which receives about $8 million annually through the program, was recently informed by the Department of Education that it was losing eligibility for heavily impacted aid, which meant a projected loss of about $4 million annually, reported the Belleville News-Democrat.

Illinois Rep. Mike Bost (R) sponsored the amendment, which would provide enhanced payment for students that live in privatized military housing within the school district boundaries. The additional funding wasn’t slated to start until next year, but if it is enacted into law, it will begin this year, according to the story.

“When I learned that Mascoutah would no longer be eligible for this critical federal funding, I committed to securing a short-term fix until we can find a long-term solution. In addition, I am going to seek answers regarding why the school district wasn’t informed earlier so it could make adjustments to protect this funding,” Bost said in a written statement.

On Wednesday, the House passed the underlying measure, which will have to be reconciled with the Senate version. Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R) is preparing a companion amendment.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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