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House Committee Version of NCLB Renewal Bill Affects Future Impact Aid

Some rural school districts have to wait more than three years to receive federal Impact Aid funding, but a new proposal would ensure they receive the money in a more timely manner.

Congress has been working on a bill that would revise No Child Left Behind, and the House committee approved its version last week.

That proposal included provisions that would affect Impact Aid, or the federal money that goes to districts to replace property tax revenue lost to federal land. We've been reporting on the sequestration and how those immediate across-the-board cuts affected Impact Aid, particularly in rural and Native American communities.

Native communities in particular have fought against the cuts, saying the more than $60 million reduction will directly affect the operation of 710 schools and the services for 115,000 Native students.

The new provisions would require that school districts receive Impact Aid districts no later than two years after it was appropriated. This mandate initially was introduced in 2011 as a bill by Reps. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., and Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and Hastings said in a statement he was pleased the committee's proposals included this language.

The House proposal also would allow some federally impacted school districts to apply for emergency assistance for school construction projects when at least 10 percent of property is non-taxable because of federal land ownership.

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