School district announces annual Impact Aid survey

Moore County Schools (MCS) will be participating in the U.S. Department of Education’s Impact Aid Electronic Data Collection pilot program for a third year.

This program allows federally connected families to complete the annual Impact Aid survey using an electronic form. The use of the electronic survey ensures greater security and protection for family members’ information since it integrates directly into PowerSchool, which meets all security requirements for FERPA.

According to Erica Funk, District Military Liaison, “The electronic survey simplifies the submission process for families by reducing potential errors on forms or the need to rely on students to turn in forms. Errors and missing forms often result in families having to resubmit their surveys multiple times. Moore County Schools has successfully used the electronic survey for the past two years and is one of the first school districts in the state to convert from a paper survey to an electronic data collection system that integrates with PowerSchool.”

Since 1950, Congress has provided financial assistance through the Impact Aid Program to local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt federal property, or that have experienced increased expenditures due to the enrollment of federally connected children.

Districts receive funding based on the total number of completed Impact Aid surveys from federally connected students. Moore County Schools received approximately $450,000 in Fiscal Year 2021 and $475,000 in Fiscal Year 2022. Impact Aid funds are typically distributed in multiple payments over the course of one to two years after the application cycle.

To better serve military families, MCS has combined the Impact Aid survey with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Military Student Identifier Form fulfilling both state and federal requirements. This year’s survey will begin on October 24. The district is asking all federally and military connected families, regardless of their status, to participate in the October survey, which will eliminate the need for a separate Military Identifier survey in December.

Impact Aid funds are usually considered general funds and may be used in whatever manner the school district chooses in accordance with their local and state requirements. Although the funds are considered unrestricted, MCS is extremely purposeful in that all funds benefit services important to military-connected families. A portion of the funding is used for district-level, military-specific support, such as a District Military Liaison, Student 2 Student programs, the Military Child Education Coalition’s Global Summit, the MCS Annual Military Family Forum, and online enrollment. The funds are also used to supplement school safety and cover the cost of a School Resource Officer and security software.

Schools receive a portion of the funding based on their campus’ participation and apply those funds in a similar manner. Additionally, Impact Aid numbers are used by the Department of Defense to determine eligibility for DODEA grants or whether school districts receive supplemental non-medical counseling support in the form of Military Family Life Counselors.

“It’s important to note that this initiative does not collect sensitive information about our active duty parents related to the unit in which they serve,” said Ms. Funk. “The forms ask only for basic information such as the service member’s name, branch and rank. Only total numbers are reported to the Department of Education and identifying information is never shared during the reporting process.”

The electronic Impact Aid survey will be available on Monday, October 24 on the district website at www.ncmcs.org/impactaid. Federally and military-connected families will receive the electronic survey link via their parent email listed in their PowerSchool Parent Portal Account. If parents do not have an active account, they can apply for one online at https://www.ncmcs.org/parents/power_school. Families should complete the survey by Friday, November 3, 2022.

Families eligible to participate include those whose parent(s) are active duty military personnel; National Guardsmen and Reservists; military retirees and veterans; foreign military officers; and individuals employed as a civilian worker, contractor or subcontractor on federal property, such as a military base. 

If families have additional questions about Impact Aid or the survey process, they can visit the MCS website at www.ncmcs.org/impactaid or contact Erica Funk, District Military Liaison, at [email protected]  / Tel: 910-947-2976.

Contributed.

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