Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Newly-Passed Senate Labor, Health And Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill Includes Over $1.4 Billion – A $32 Million Increase – In Funding For The Impact Aid Program To Provide Critical Resources For Schools On Federal Land, Including Several School Districts In The North Country, Western New York And The Hudson Valley

Sep 24, 2018

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, today announced that the recently-passed, bipartisan Senate Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which is expected to pass the House in the coming weeks, includes $1.446 billion in federal funding for the Department of Education Impact Aid Program. The $1.446 billion funding level for FY2019 is a $32 million increase over FY2018’s funding level. The senators explained that the Impact Aid program provides flexible support for school districts impacted by the presence of federally-owned lands, such as military bases and Native American lands, and that the program is essential to communities across Western New York, the North Country, and the Hudson Valley.

“I was proud to fight for and deliver this critical $32 million budgetary increase for the Impact Aid program in FY2019, which is a vital lifeline for the school districts and communities near and on military bases and Native American lands across Upstate New York – especially in Highland Falls, near Fort Drum and Salamanca,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal investment takes undue burden off the backs of local taxpayers and puts resources right where they belong – in the impacted classrooms across the state.”

“With Impact Aid, students who come from military families or live on Native American lands can gain equal access to the same educational opportunities as other children. The quality of their education should not be compromised due to federal activity, and this funding will help support school districts near West Point, Fort Drum, and Native American lands in Western New York,” said Senator Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “I was proud to fight for this increase of funding in the recently passed appropriations bill, and I will continue to work to provide our schools with the resources they need to succeed.”

The Impact Aid Program is a federal program designed to supplement school budgets in districts that are on a large portion of federally owned, nontaxable land, such as military bases and Native American reservations. Several districts in the North Country around Fort Drum, including the Sackets Harbor Central School District, the Carthage Central School District, and the Indian River Central School District rely on this funding in order to support educational development at schools. Additionally, the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery School District, in the Hudson Valley around West Point, relies on critical Impact Aid funding. Lastly, the Salamanca, Gowanda, Lake Shore and Silver Creek School Districts, which are all located on Native Americans land, also depend on impact aid funding.

Since its creation in 1950, the Impact Aid program has provided assistance to local school districts with concentrations of children residing on Indian lands, low-rent housing properties, military bases or other Federal properties, and concentrations of children who have parents in the uniformed services or employed on eligible Federal properties who do not live on Federal property. In April, Gillibrand led a bipartisan push with 39 Senate colleagues to urge Senate appropriators to fully fund Impact Aid for the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.