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Courtney Presents Groton and Ledyard Public Schools with Official Copies of COVID-19 Educational Impact Aid Protection Bill

January 29, 2021
Press Release

NORWICH, CT—This morning, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) presented official framed copies of the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act (H.R. 8075) to Groton and Ledyard Public Schools. Courtney’s bipartisan bill was one of only a small number of COVID-19 relief bills to be signed into law in 2020, and of the more than 14,000 bills introduced to the House and Senate throughout the 116th Congress, only one of 344 to be made law. H.R. 8075 protects federal Educational Impact Aid funding amid the pandemic for public schools who serve high numbers of military and Tribal Nations schoolchildren.

Courtney introduced the bipartisan legislation after working directly with Groton and Ledyard Public Schools, and today presented copies of the signed bill to Superintendents Susan Austin (Groton Public Schools) and Jason Hartling (Ledyard Public Schools).

“Presenting Groton and Ledyard Public Schools with official copies of the bill that they helped to create was a special way to close the book on this success story for our local schools,” said Rep. Courtney. “There were over 14,000 bills introduced during the 116th Congress, and only 344 were made law. The odds were stacked against us, but we pushed through and secured a real win for our schools, and for thousands of others nationwide who serve unique student populations. The Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act is the direct result of collaborating with our local educators here in eastern Connecticut, and now that it’s the law of the land it’s going to mean real support for thousands of public schools during COVID-19. At a time when our teachers, students, and their families need more support than ever, I was proud to work with our local schools to introduce this bill and to secure its passage in the House, the Senate, and finally its signing into law.”

Rep. Courtney introduced the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act following a meeting with former Groton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Graner and Ledyard Public Schools Superintendent Jason Hartling, who alerted Rep. Courtney about their concern that federal Impact Aid was at particular risk during COVID-19. Many schools were concerned that amid the complexity of returning to school, local school districts would receive less funding than they deserved. In Groton and Ledyard alone, public schools support the education of nearly 2,000 schoolchildren from military and Tribal Nations families. Courtney’s bill protects Impact Aid funding for schools across the country by requiring the U.S. Department of Education to use 2019 calculations when determining the funding amount that local school districts will receive for the new 2021 schoolyear.

Courtney first introduced the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act on August 25th, and was joined by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) as an original co-sponsor. H.R. 8075 was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by unanimous consent on Friday, October 2nd, and was passed in the U.S. Senate one month later, on November 12th, again by unanimous consent. It was signed into law on December 7, 2020.