Earlier this summer, AASA partnered with NAFIS to examine the deep reductions the Impact Aid program would feel as a result of the across-the-board cuts of sequestration. AASA members receiving Impact Aid funding completed the NAFIS survey, and AASA and NAFIS are happy to today release the results of that study.
Impact Aid and Sequestration: The Impact of the Budget Control Act on Federally Impacted Schools details how schools districts will respond to the cuts of sequestration and how those responses will impact the programmatic and personnel offerings the schools can provide.
Here is the press release for the report:
(WASHINGTON, DC) – After Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, the clock started ticking for public school districts. First, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (often referred to as the “Supercommittee”) was tasked to find $1.2 trillion in savings which it failed to do. The failure then triggered what is known as “sequestration,” an across-the-board spending cut on all discretionary programs that will take place on January 2, 2013.
While the U.S. Department of Education recently announced that the majority of school districts won’t feel the effects of sequestration until the 2013-2014 school year, for one set of schools – those who are affected by a federal presence in their community –sequestration will hit them in the middle of this school year. “Time is running out on federally impacted schools,” said National Association of
Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS) Executive Director John B. Forkenbrock. “If the sequester actually goes through, our schools will see an immediate impact right in the middle of this school year. The fact that the federal funding these schools rely on is not ‘forward-funded’ will mean some may even have to close their doors completely.”
These school districts rely each year on an appropriation from Congress called Impact Aid. Impact Aid is a payment in lieu of federal taxes these schools use to supplement their budgets and stay on a level playing field with other non-impacted public schools. Many of these school districts are responsible for educating children of military personnel and those children who live on Indian Trust and Treaty land, while others live in public housing.
Because the threat of sequestration singles out these school districts that are already disadvantaged, NAFIS, in coordination with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), conducted a survey of more than 400 public school districts in the first half of 2012 to try to measure just how devastating sequestration will be within these schools.
“Sequestration represents a very real threat to the nation’s schools,” said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech. “We welcomed the opportunity to partner with NAFIS and illustrate how the cuts to Impact Aid will negatively impact 1,400 (10% of the nation’s) public school districts. Consistent with school district responses to the recession and general preparation for other sequestration cuts, Impact-Aid receiving districts would absorb the cuts by deferring technology maintenance/purchases, eliminating staff positions, increasing class size and reducing professional development. These are cuts that directly undermine the hard work of these schools to prepare students to be college and career ready, able to compete in an increasingly global economy.”
The survey results, posted on both the NAFIS (www.nafisdc.org) and AASA (www.aasa.org) websites today, show that of the 334 school districts that responded, 36-percent have budgeted the sequester cut into the 2012-13 school year. “Those who have budgeted for the sequester are choosing to put off school building maintenance and are eliminating both non-instructional and instructional staff,” said Forkenbrock. “Many of these buildings are already in disrepair; and these decisions are now putting students at risk…a risk that can be tied directly to Congress’ failure to act. And federally impacted schools, our military and Native American children, will continue to face the effects of impending cuts in coming years unless sequestration is avoided.”
To see the entire survey results, please visit www.nafisdc.org or www.aasa.org.
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of AASA is to advocate for the highest quality public education for all students, and develop and support school system leaders. For more information, visit www.aasa.org. Follow AASA on twitter at www.twitter.com/AASAHQ.
The National Association of Federally Impacted Schools is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization of public school districts throughout the United States. NAFIS is organized primarily to educate Congress on the importance of Impact Aid and to ensure school districts affected by a federal presence receive the basic resources necessary to provide an education for their students. NAFIS strives to ensure that the Federal obligation to replace lost revenue for eligible school districts impacted by a Federal presence is met. Follow NAFIS on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Association-of-Federally-Impacted-Schools/246376665411225 and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nafisschools.