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*Does not include State aid for adult education or school lunchroom
**Final Budget for 1975-76
Source: See Table W-1
PART 5: IMPACT AID
THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 1977
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY
AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:30 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, the Hon. Carl D. Perkins (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Members present: Representatives Perkins, Mottl, Corrada, Kildee, and Quie.
Staff present: John F. Jennings, majority counsel, Nancy L. Kober, staff assistant, and Christopher T. Cross, minority senior education consultant.
Chairman PERKINS. The meeting will come to order.
I want to introduce one of our outstanding Members of Congress, Mr. McClory. You take the chair, Mr. McClory, and introduce your witnesses.
STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT MCCLORY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS; ACCOMPANIED BY CHARLES THOMAS, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, AND DON SCHERWAT, BUSINESS MANAGER, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT 64, NORTH CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Mr. McCLORY. I have asked Dr. Charles Thomas, and Mr. Don Scherwat to accompany me this morning.
Chairman PERKINS. Mr. McClory has been one of the most outstanding supporters of impact aid, and also a supporter of all other aspects of education all through the years. His work has meant victory for us in many instances.
I am delighted to welcome our colleague, Mr. McClory, to the Committee and you gentlemen.
[The prepared statement was read by Mr. McClory:]
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ROBERT MCCLORY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THE IMPACT AID PROGRAM
June 30, 1977
Mr. Chairman: I appreciate this opportunity to come before you today and to testify on the important topic of Impact Aid. Since the adoption of Public Law 81-874 in 1950, the federal government has recognized its responsibility to provide financial assistance to local school districts which are significantly and adversely affected by certain federal activities, such as military installations and federal agencies. This sound policy which has been in effect for the past 27 years is now threatened by the drastic cuts proposed by President Carter. I urge you to reject any attempts to adversely alter this beneficial and well-proven program.
According to the Office of Education, school assistance for federally impacted areas in the State of Illinois amounted to
$9,073,000 in FY '76. Approximately 30 percent of this figure was the Category A and Category B Entitlement for school districts located within the Congressional District which I represent. Without the $2,515,225 Entitlement these local school districts received, there
would be no choice but to raise local taxes astronomically while at the same time decreasing the quality of education offered pupils in these districts.
One of the major justifications the Carter Administration advances for decreasing Impact Aid funding is a fallacious one. is the Administration's argument that Impact Aid should be reduced and Title I expanded. The President does not want to compensate school districts where children live on private property in the community and therefore their parents pay local property taxes to support the local school district. However, fellow Colleagues, it is important for all concerned to realize that approximately half of the tax base in this country is from non-residential property. Therefore, it is not only reasonable, but equitable, that non-tax assessed federal operations such as military installations should make an "in lieu of taxes" payment to local school districts. expect local school districts to provide a decent education for children whose parents live on or who work at federal jobs on property which is exempt from local taxation without a contribution from the federal government is unconscionable.
In my Congressional District, the 13th of Illinois, and in the adjacent two Congressional Districts, we have several military and governmental installations which impact on local school districts. The Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Fort Sheridan, and the Veteran's Administration Hospital in North Chicago all would create detrimental financial burdens without the Impact Aid Program.
In the case of the North Chicago School District #64, for
example, the Great Lakes Naval Training Center lies within the district
boundaries. The Base uses one-half of the geographical area and it has been estimated that if assessed for tax purposes, it would be more than twice the assessed district value of $66-million. Thus, this federal installation is the largest non-taxpaying employer in the North Chicago School District. The 597 military and civilian children who attend local schools are entitled to $201,000.00 in Impact Aid payments. If cut, this means that local taxpayers would have to borrow approximately $336.00 for each of the 597 children whose parents work on the federal Base.
In addition to the example of the North Chicago district, all of the surrounding school districts are also affected by the Naval Training Center, Fort Sheridan or the VA Hospital. And it stands to reason that most of these children would not be there if it were not for federal activity.
Assume for a moment, Colleagues, that we do reduce the Impact Aid Program in accordance with the President's recommendations. There is absolutely no way in which the local school districts within my Congressional District could maintain the existing level. quality education without some type of "in lieu of taxes" payments from the federal government. In the Waukegan School District #60, for example, it is anticipated that without Impact Aid it would be necessary to cut 27 teachers and support staff. And, who is it that ultimately loses? The children of parents serving the federal government are the ones. who are deprived the quality education they deserve. This is discriminatory and unfair
both to the school children and
the local taxpayers.