Each year, schools across the country attempt to identify students attending public schools who are connected through tax-exempt property. The federal statute, under Public Law 91-874 “IMPACT AID,” authorizes financial assistance to local educational agencies. The entitlement to a local school is based upon the number of federally-connected students attending school, as determined by an annual survey or source check.
Ad valorem taxes, collected annually accounts for more than a quarter of most area school districts’ revenue budgets. The basic concept in the law is that the federal government will partially reimburse local school districts for tax revenue lost due to federal activity or holdings in the school district area, created by having property taken from the ad valorem tax rolls.
Under subsection 8003, the annual survey is used to ascertain the number of category “A” and “B” students enrolled for the 2017-2018 school year. Generally, “A” students are those who both reside on tax-exempt federal property and have a parent that works on federal related tax-exempt property or resides on Indian land or in Indian housing. Category “B” students are those identified as either residing on tax-exempt federal property or having a parent working on some federal related tax-exempt location; including active duty in the U.S. Military.
Upon collecting the survey forms, J and J Consulting works to compile, complete, and verify the forms through the source check process. From this information our formal application is prepared and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Tahlequah Public Schools has actively applied for 874 Impact Aid funds for more than 30 years. The program began with the majority of eligible students identified as residents on tax-exempt property and active duty U.S. Military. Only in the past five years has the district become eligible to include students whose parents work on federal related tax-exempt property. With the additional students, TPS has obtained an increase to the annual funding from 874 Impact Aid by more than 30 percent. This year’s survey, has identified 679 students who are federally connected.
The task of producing, disbursing, and collecting survey forms, consumes a great deal of time for all involved. Although the survey form is produced at the administrative office, the bulk of the work is done at the school site and classroom teacher level. In Tahlequah Public Schools, each classroom teacher plays a pivotal role in this annual experience. If not for their time, hard work, and support for this process, the outcome would be far less successful.
Funds received from P.L. 91-874 Impact Aid will go into the Tahlequah Building Fund for the basic overall operation of the school district. These funds are used for services and expenses which the absent ad valorem tax revenue would have otherwise provided. This year’s funds will more specifically be utilized for payment of utilities, some building improvement projects and, also to provide special services for handicapped students.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Board of Education at (918) 458-4100.