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Courtney’s Bipartisan Bill to Protect Educational Impact Aid for Public Schools Amid COVID-19 is Signed Into Law

December 7, 2020
Press Release
The Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act is one of only a handful of COVID-19 relief bills to be made law since the CARES Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) announced that his bipartisan bill to safeguard Educational Impact Aid for military and Tribal Nations schoolchildren amid the pandemic was signed into law. Courtney first introduced the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act (H.R. 8075) on August 25th and successfully built strong bipartisan support for the legislation, even amid the widely reported-on inability for the Senate to find agreement on any other form of COVID-19 relief.

Courtney’s H.R. 8075 was passed by unanimous consent in the U.S. House of Representatives on October 5th. The Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act was passed in the U.S. Senate one month later, on November 5th, again by unanimous consent. Today it was signed into law at the White House. 

“2020 has been an extremely difficult year for K-12 public education. The Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act will provide much needed stability for school districts which have unique student populations,” said Rep. Courtney. “School districts like Groton and Ledyard with military families are at risk of losing federal impact assistance as a consequence of adopting remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ledyard School Superintendent Jason Hartling and Groton Superintendent Michael Graner were instrumental in bringing this issue forward to my office, which resulted in the introduction of the legislation. Other school districts serving military bases, Native American tribes, and migrant farm workers joined their effort to lobby their members of Congress, and all of the support culminated in the enactment of this bill.

“I want to salute Rep. Dusty Johnson from South Dakota for joining me to introduce this bipartisan bill, and for all of our colleagues who supported our effort. As we near the end of 2020, it’s clear that our nation needs broad-based COVID relief. I was proud to lead the charge on securing this targeted relief for our eastern Connecticut schools—it's a good win and a step in the right direction, and I’ll keep working hard to secure more.”

Rep. Courtney’s Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act is one of only a handful of COVID-19 relief bill to be signed into law since Congress passed the CARES Act in March. Courtney was joined by Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD-AL) as an original co-sponsor of The Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act, and has welcomed support for the bill from eastern Connecticut School Superintendents Dr. Michael Graner, Ph.D. (Groton Public Schools) and Jason Hartling (Ledyard Public Schools). 

Rep. Courtney is a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, and of the House Armed Services Committee. On October 8th, following passage of H.R. 8075 bill in the House, Courtney met with Dr. Michael Graner, Superintendent of Groton Public Schools, and Jason Hartling, Superintendent of Ledyard Public Schools, to discuss their need for more federal support amid COVID-19, and the status of the bill in the Senate. “This bill is enormously important to Groton; the Town depends on the Impact Aid Grant to support the education of over 1,000 military dependents,” stated Groton Public Schools Superintendent Michael Graner. Click here to learn more.