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Colonel, educators emphasize Impact Aid

Col. Bill Marks from Redstone Arsenal visited with Horizon Elementary School students during the joint news conference for Impact Aid funds. (CONTRIBUTED)
Col. Bill Marks from Redstone Arsenal visited with Horizon Elementary School students during the joint news conference for Impact Aid funds. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Redstone Arsenal officials and educators from the Madison, Huntsville and Madison County districts joined forces to stress the importance for parents to complete forms for federal Impact Aid dollars.

Impact Aid is money that the federal government pays in lieu of property taxes to schools that educate the children of federal workers.

Educators and military brass convened for a joint news conference on Sept. 15 at Horizon Elementary School. From the arsenal, Col. Bill Marks and Barbara W. Williams with School Liaison Services, along with Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler, led the gathering.

Madison’s federal programs coordinator Sharon Willis discussed Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) grants, and district at-risk counselor Cindy Davis reported on Student 2 Student initiatives. Mayor Troy Trulock also attended.

One in four students in Madison City Schools has a parent or guardian who works on federal property, which qualifies the district for extra money from the federal government, according to John Peck, public relations manager for the Madison district.

Teachers in all schools sent federal impact aid forms home with students on Sept. 15. The school staffs urged parents and guardians to take a few minutes to fill out the forms and return to the school as soon as possible, even if the parent is not sure about qualifying employment. School personnel will vet the forms that qualify, Peck said.

In the last 12 years, Madison City Schools received approximately $2.5 million from this fund. The government also awards additional DoDEA grants based on Impact Aid participation. Madison received more than $4 million in DoDEA grants in the last five years.

The form asks parents to list their job and work location. Working on federal property, like Redstone Arsenal, NASA, federal courthouse, public housing authority or TVA, qualifies the district for Impact Aid money. The job can be associated with the military, civil service or private contracting. One form per child is required.

For 2014 in Madison, 2,423 of 9,764 students (24.7 percent) qualified the district for federal impact aid.

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