(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced bipartisan legislation that would improve the federal funding process for schools in tribal and military communities. Their legislation, the Impact Aid Timely Repayment Act of 2011, expedites the Impact Aid allocation process by requiring the Department of Education to make Impact Aid payments to schools within two years of funds being appropriated.

“As states continue to tighten their belts and try to do more with less, making sure school districts in military and tribal communities promptly get the federal support they need is critical to the success of our students,” said Senator Murray. “This bipartisan legislation would set a strict timeline for the completion of the funding allocation process and will minimize the uncertainty school districts in Washington state and across the country face when they look at their budgets for each coming year. The sooner this funding is allocated, the sooner these schools can hire more teachers, purchase more books and supplies, and improve their students’ educational experience.”  

"Many school districts in South Dakota are forced to deal with significant delays in receiving their Impact Aid payments," said Senator Thune. "I'm pleased to cosponsor legislation to help reduce this delay so that school districts in South Dakota and across the country are better positioned to make important budget decisions.”

Impact Aid funding is provided to school districts that educate a significant number of federally-connected children, such as those that live on military bases or reservations. Currently, many school districts are still waiting for Impact Aid that was appropriated as long as five years ago, forcing schools to tighten budgets and increase the burden on local taxpayers.