Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost applauded today’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Education that the Mascoutah School District will continue to be eligible for critical education funding through the federal Impact Aid program. This program helps the district educate children connected to Scott Air Force Base.
“Ensuring the children of military families receive a high quality public education where they can learn alongside local peers is a promise we’ve made to our veterans and the communities that support our Armed Forces,” said Bost. “However, cumbersome rules and requirements can put important federal funds for these children at risk. Last year, Congress enacted legislation I sponsored that helped provide some additional Impact Aid funding for Mascoutah. Today, I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Education has accepted Mascoutah’s application resubmission for Heavily Impacted Aid, a goal we’ve been fighting for since my first year in office. I intend to work with my colleagues to ensure that the criteria used to determine eligibility fully reflects local tax efforts to support public education so similar problems do not result at Mascoutah or another military community.
“We truly appreciate the leadership Rep. Bost has shown and the personal attention he gave to our unique problem,” said Craig Fiegel, Superintendent of the Mascoutah School District 19. “This has been a time-intensive process to solve a complex funding problem. We appreciate his tenacity and responsiveness to our needs. We’re been really impressed with the help and all the efforts Rep. Bost and his staff provided on our behalf.”
Impact Aid compensates local schools for "substantial and continuing financial burden" resulting from federal activities, such as educating children of military service members. The federal government provides compensation because local governments are unable to collect property or other taxes from federal property. In exchange, local tax rates for education must meet a certain threshold for participation. However, not all local public education taxes count towards the local participation requirement. Mascoutah was informed last year by the United States Department of Education that it was losing eligibility for heavily impacted aid due local tax rates allegedly falling below the threshold for participation. Recently, the Illinois State Board of Education submitted corrected state-wide tax data demonstrating Mascoutah actually met tax rate participation criteria.