School District Officials Visit Capitol Hill

JUNCTION CITY, KAN. – Officials from Geary County Schools USD 475 made a trip to Washington D.C. this week to further relations with the federal government, specifically impact and heavy impact aid policymakers. During the trip USD 475 also met with Senator Jerry Moran, Congressman Roger Marshall, and Mr. Flin Hyre a Legislative Aide to Senator Pat Roberts.

Approximately one out of every four dollars supporting Geary County schools comes through Federal Impact Aid. This money is the Federal Government’s reimbursement to school districts for the presence of nontaxable Fort Riley property and its federally connected students.

Tom Brungardt, Board of Education President, joined District staff in Washington DC. “The funds USD 475 receives from federal impact aid is significant not only to our District but the entire state. Maintaining our contacts with policymakers in Washington is vital to preserving that flow of funding.”

The federal government has a clear obligation to address federally impacted school districts else the tax burden on limited properties is a challenge that cannot be met by the fewer taxpayers. Funding is vital to schools serving high concentrations of military-connected students and District staff working with congressional champions is essential.

“We initiated the fiscal year 2020 application process last week. Impact Aid Survey Forms are distributed to parents by mail or at parent-teacher conferences. These forms are compiled, verified, and submitted to the Department of Education no later than January 31, 2019, to qualify for payments,” noted Dr. Beth Hudson, Interim Superintendent.

Those forms are valuable and receiving them from those surveyed is essential. For each student residing on post with an active duty parent, USD 475 collects $5,400.00 and up to $10,000.00 in years when the District qualifies for Heavy Impact Aid. Students living off-post with an active duty parent, generate $1,300.00 per student or $6,300.00 when factoring in Heavy Impact Aid.

Education is a quality of life issue for all students and families serviced by Geary County Schools. As noted by Brungardt the trip to Capitol Hill is critical to ensure the well-being of all.

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