Federal Survey Cards worth millions in impact aid for Hawaii schools

| August 27, 2015 | 0 Comments
Public schools receive federal impact aid based on the number of survey cards that are returned by federally connected students who live on federal property or whose parents or guardians are employed by the federal government. (Courtesy photo)

Public schools receive federal impact aid based on the number of survey cards that are returned by federally connected students who live on federal property or whose parents or guardians are employed by the federal government. (Courtesy photo)

Tamsin Keone
School Liaison Office
Army Community Service

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Wednesday, Sept. 2nd, is an important date for Hawaii public schools.

It is the day that students will bring home a federal survey card for parents or guardians to complete and return to schools the following day.

Schools will receive federal impact aid based on the number of survey cards that are returned by federally connected students who live on or whose parent or guardian is employed on federal property.

Why is returning the card so important?

In 2013-2014, an estimated 28,000 families filled out the survey, and Hawaii benefitted from more than $41 million in impact aid since it has the highest number of military dependent children per capita in the nation.

The average cost to educate a Hawaii public student in 2013-2014 was approximately $13,000. However, the average reimbursement received for a federally connected student was only $1,421 or 11 percent of the total cost.

Federal Impact Aid brings the state millions of dollars for the school year. (Photo illustration)

Federal Impact Aid brings the state millions of dollars for the school year. (Photo illustration)

The remaining balance was paid for with funding from Hawaii taxpayers, but this is why federally connected families are asked for their full cooperation in completing the survey forms. Hawaii needs as much compensation as possible for local tax losses resulting from tax-free federal installations.

Impact aid is intended to partially compensate the Hawaii DOE for the families of federally connected students who pay less in taxes into the school district than local residents. It partially makes up for local tax losses resulting from tax-free federal installations.

For example, people living on federal property do not pay local property tax. People who work on federal property, in turn, work for companies that do not pay local property tax. Also, people who work for the military have the ability to shop for food and other items at stores that do not charge sales tax. Therefore, Hawaii and its school districts lose not only property tax revenue, but also sales tax and licensing fees.

Impact aid funding offsets costs for Hawaii Common Core curriculum resources, substitute teachers, student transportation, utilities (like electricity) and other services. Hawaii’s public schools rely on federal impact aid as a significant part of the education budget. By filling out and returning the survey cards, parents are helping schools claim and benefit from their authorized share of federal support.

Parents are encouraged to fill out and return surveys to schools promptly. Non-response could result in the loss of millions of dollars in federal funds that benefit both our military and local communities.

Every card that is not returned will result in lost revenues to Hawaii classrooms statewide.

(Note: Army Community Service is part of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation with U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.)

Questions

For more information, call the School Liaison Office at (808) 655-8326.

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Category: Community, Education

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