Federal Survey Cards worth millions in Hawaii schools support

| September 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

Shown here is an example of a federal survey card scheduled for distribution statewide on Sept. 5 for eligible parents, including active duty service members whose children attend public school.

School Liaison Office

News Release
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Wednesday, September 6 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.

School Liaison Office LogoImpact Aid
In 2015-2016, Hawaii’s public schools benefited from more than $40 million in Impact Aid, thanks to some 28,000 families who filled out their survey card.

The average cost to educate a Hawaii public student in School Year 2015-2016 was approximately $15,062. However, the average reimbursement received for a federally-connected student was only $1,458 or 10 percent of the total cost. 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 that 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.

How it’s used
Impact aid funding offsets costs for Hawaii Common Core curriculum resources, substitute teachers, student transportation, school utilities (e.g. 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.

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

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