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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Schumer, Gillibrand announce $23 M in federal aid for WNY schools

All WNY News     Wednesday, May 10, 2017    

PRESS RELEASE



U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced their successful fight to increase federal funding for the Impact Aid Program by $23 million, bringing total funding for the program to $1.3 billion. The Impact Aid program is a federal program designed to supplement schools in districts that include large portions of nontaxable land. Several school districts in Western NY include students that reside on Native American land, and other nontaxable land, and depend on Impact Aid funding to continue operating. This vital resource ensures schools are able to give children the education they deserve. The school districts that will receive funding include Salamanca, Gowanda, Lake Shore, and Silver Creek.

“I fought hard to ensure that the new passed federal package would maintain and increase funding for schools that educate children who live on nontaxable land like Western New York’s Native American land. This new spending deal will allow for federal funds to fill the gaps through the Department of Education and it puts resources right where they belong – in Western NY classrooms.” said Senator Schumer.

“Families on and around Western New York’s Native American land rely on this funding to provide their children with the education and services they need,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds would help ensure children have access to the same educational opportunities as other children. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to help schools in New York and across the country provide students with quality educational programs.”

Schumer and Gillibrand said that Impact Aid helps cover the gaps in special cases where the absence of funding normally raised through property taxes is not viable. Native American Reservations for example are not subject to property tax, and therefore Impact Aid funding is critical in those schools so they can get  the resources they need to ensure each child is receiving a quality education. A decrease in this support would have a crippling effect on the programs, courses, and other resources that are offered by several districts in Western NY. With the new funding, Western NY schools will be able to a serve all students who live on nontaxable land, will continue to function.

Schumer and Gillibrand cited several school districts that benefit from the aid in FY 2016:

Districts
#Impact Aid
FY16
Salamanca
$4.3M
Gowanda
$885,000
Lake Shore
$483,000
Silver Creek
$201,085


Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have advocated for Impact Aid year after year to ensure that schools in New York maintain access to the necessary resources needed to stay afloat and thrive. The money that these school districts will receive is a significant part of their annual budgets, and it is essential in providing quality educations to all children.

Established in 1950, the Impact Aid Program is a major general aid source for over 1,300 school districts nationwide, or almost 10 percent of all districts. For some school districts, Impact Aid supplies as much as 75 percent of the local education operating budget.

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