Hudson, Wittman Introduce Bill to Ensure Schools Receive Full Funding for Military-Connected Students
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), Fort Bragg's Congressman, along with U.S. Representative Rob Wittman (VA-01) introduced the Counting Overlooked Base Impact Aid (COBIA) Act to ensure schools educating service-connected children receive the full sum of federal Impact Aid to which they are currently entitled.
"As Fort Bragg's Congressman and a dad, I care deeply about our military and improving education in North Carolina," said Rep. Hudson. "North Carolina is the proud home to many military-connected students across our state, meaning Impact Aid funding is critical to the success of our local schools. This legislation will help provide our students with the opportunities they need to meet their full potential. I’m grateful for Congressman Wittman’s leadership and strong support of the Impact Aid program, and I will continue advocating for the students who benefit from it."
"Providing service-connected students a quality education is the least we can do for American military families. And yet, the condition of schools adjacent to military installations is a major concern for servicemembers and a leading cause for separation from Active Duty," said Rep. Wittman. "By ensuring every military child is fully accounted for, we ensure these schools receive the full sum of federal funding they deserve."
"School districts serving military-connected students value the strong relationship they have with their local military installations," said Hilary Goldmann, Executive Director of the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS), and Kyle Fairbairn, Executive Director of the Military Impacted Schools Association (MISA). "This bill will ensure that districts continue to receive the support they need to identify and serve military-connected students in their schools through the Impact Aid program. NAFIS and MISA appreciate the leadership of Representative Wittman and Hudson and their support for military-serving school districts."
As it stands, school districts must submit a list of service-connected students to the Department of Education in order to receive Impact Aid. This aid, a reimbursement for lost local taxes, is disbursed on a per-student basis. However, if these forms are not submitted for every individual service-connected child, then schools are not fully reimbursed. Should the COBIA Act become law, schools will instead proactively work with bases to ensure every service-connected student is fully counted, in turn ensuring schools receive full federal reimbursement for each student. These funds contribute towards better education and facilities for all students who attend schools in proximity to military installations.
Rep. Hudson has previously worked to increase funding for Impact Aid and streamline the program to ensure schools receive funding they deserve. Read about those efforts here.