The Administration does not object to House passage of H.R. 3616,
but will work with the Senate to address several objectionable features
of the bill, including its failure to include key elements of the
President's proposal for reauthorizing the Impact Aid program. This
program provides assistance to school districts that are financially
burdened by the presence of Federal property or Federal activities
within their jurisdictions.
The Administration is concerned that H.R. 3616:
Fails to include the President's proposal to make the formula for
payments on behalf of federally connected children (e.g., children
from families living and working on nontaxable Federal property) more
equitable among districts by more accurately reflecting the current
costs of educating those children.
Continues to authorize payments for a category of federally
connected children (so-called "b" children), whose parents either live
or work on Federal property, even though they impose little burden on
communities relative to other federally connected children.
Uses past payment amounts and other extraneous factors in the
formulas for allocating payments for Federal property and for
federally connected children. All available funds should be
distributed based on objective data that measure the level of current
need within a school district, not past need.
Allows some school districts to treat children who live on taxable
property that was once Federal property as if they still lived on
Contains an inequitable and complex system for making payments to
the small number of school districts identified as the most heavily
affected by Federal activities.
Further dilutes the effect of the school construction portion of
the Impact Aid program by expanding the number of eligible districts
and failing to target limited funds to the neediest areas.