U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) today issued the following statements after their Supplemental Impact Aid Flexibility Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure school districts participating in the Impact Aid Program maintain stable funding levels, was signed into law. The Thune-Smith bill will allow these school districts to use previously reported student headcounts on their Impact Aid applications for the 2022-2023 school year due to ongoing, yet temporary, enrollment fluctuations stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s more important than ever for school districts in South Dakota that participate in the Impact Aid Program to have the funding stability and certainty they need for the upcoming school year,” said Thune. “That’s why I’m pleased to announce that this critical legislation is now law, and it will be extremely beneficial to school districts across South Dakota and the nation.”
“As the pandemic continues to hit many Minnesota school districts hard, it’s important that districts receiving Impact Aid maintain reliable, stable funding so students can keep learning,” said Smith. “I’m glad we could deliver on this and ensure that while the pandemic continues to affect school operations, our Impact Aid districts won’t have to recalculate their student headcounts.”
The Impact Aid Program reimburses federally impacted schools – schools that are either located on federal property or have students living on federal property – that often collect less in local property taxes. Last Congress, Thune and Smith introduced the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act, a related bill that President Trump signed into law on December 4, 2020, that ensured schools didn’t need to go through the burdensome process of recalculating federally connected students in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.