Federal impact aid to Hawai’i increases, but only covers 14% of actual costs

According to the DOE, the cost to educate a pupil in the Hawai’i public schools is $11,659.36. This mostly comes out of the general appropriations that the state generates through taxes, plus federal and other grants.

In school year 2007-2008, there were 28,026 federally connected students (including military dependents) enrolled in the public schools out of a total enrollment of 179,423 public school students.

Federal impact aid is granted to states to help offset the cost of educating students of families who live or work on federal facilities and families on Sec. 8 housing, since the state cannot collect the same taxes from these families.

Based on the figures given in the press release below, the state was able to increase impact aid from the federal government by $3,893,525, raising the total from $43,331,482 to $47,225,007.

This comes out to about $1685 per federally connected student, or 14% of the actual cost per pupil to educate these students.


Contact: Sandra Goya
Date: January 9, 2009

Additional Federal Impact Aid for DOE

The Hawaii State Department of Education announced an increase in Federal Impact Aid funds at a ceremonial check presentation by Rep. K. Mark Takai and military housing representatives.

The increase in impact aid funds is a result of an effort coordinated by Rep. Takai. In 2002, he found an obscure provision in the Federal Impact Aid law. The provision provides for a significant increase in funding for children displaced because of housing renovations occurring on military installations.

This year’s effort resulted in an additional $3,893,525 in impact aid funds over the $43,331,482 that the DOE was already anticipating. Over the past six years, the increase of impact aid due to this effort totals $31,715,226.

Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto was pleased to learn about the additional federal funds. “In these times of budget constraints, we must pursue all sources of funding to support quality education for our students,” Hamamoto said.

Impact aid is a federal program that provides funding for a portion of the educational costs of federally-connected students. It is an in-lieu-of-tax program – in other words, it is the federal government paying its “tax bill” to local school districts as a result of the presence of a military installation, low income housing, or federal property.

Impact aid is the only federal education program in which the funds are sent directly to the school district. The funds go directly into the school district’s general fund for operational expenses such as the purchase of textbooks, computers, utilities, and payment of staff salaries.

The federal government provides significantly more funds for students of military families living on military installations than for students living off base.

Source contact: Cherise Imai, Military Liaison, 271-5724 (cellular)


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