Courtney Honored for Support of Impact Aid to Military and Tribal Communities
(Washington, DC) - Yesterday, the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS) presented Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) with the Friend of NAFIS Award which celebrates recipients for outstanding contributions to the Impact Aid Program. The award was presented at the 2018 NAFIS Fall Conference in Washington, DC.
“Impact Aid has been a critical source of federal support for local schools, particularly in communities with large military populations since the Roosevelt administration,” said Courtney. “Towns like Groton and Ledyard in my district rely on Impact Aid to help underwrite the cost of educating the children of military and tribal families. This is critically important because service members living on federal property like military bases, and Native Americans living on tribal land, are exempted from paying local taxes that are normally used to fund schools. The Impact Aid Program represents our commitment to making sure the children of military service members and Native families are provided with a quality public education, while not forcing local communities to pay the bill. I would like to thank NAFIS for honoring me with this award, and I promise to remain a strong advocate of Impact Aid in Congress.”
Hilary Goldmann, executive director of NAFIS, said, “For years, Congressman Courtney has played an integral role in ensuring that federally impacted school districts—those that receive Impact Aid—have the resources they need to offer the quality of education students deserve. Impact Aid pays for teacher salaries, social/emotional supports, student transportation, technology and other education programming and supports based on local needs. Groton Public Schools, which serves military and civilian children connected to Naval Submarine Base New London, and other school districts in Connecticut and throughout the nation rely on Impact Aid to give students access to opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
Dr. Mike Graner, Superintendent of Groton Public Schools, wrote in support of Courtney’s award saying, “Groton Public Schools is extremely proud to be the home district for hundreds of military dependents at the Navy Sub Base and at the Coast Guard Academy. Our school district has no better friend than Congressman Joe Courtney who is been steadfast supporter of the Impact Aid program. The Town receives a significant Impact Aid grant to support the military dependent children and other federally impacted students attending our schools; Congressman Courtney has been deeply engaged with our schools that service in the military children and has been a strong advocate for fair funding to support the education of those children. I am delighted that Representative Courtney is receiving the award as an acknowledgement of his loyal support for the children in this military community.”
Impact Aid reimburses school districts for the loss of revenue caused by the presence of nontaxable Federal property, including military installations like Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton and the tribal land. It helps ensure that students who attend schools on or near federal property have access to a quality education.
Courtney is a long-standing member of the House Impact Aid Coalition and consistently supports and advocates for the Impact Aid program. Recently, he served as a leader in efforts to protect Impact Aid from a plan to redirect up to a third of its funding to private school vouchers. Through his roles on both the House Armed Services and Education and the Workforce Committees, Courtney has educated his colleagues on the harm that proposed legislation would cause to students, schools, and taxpayers across the country.