NAFIS advocates before Congress and the Administration on issues related to Impact Aid. NAFIS also supports its membership in their advocacy efforts.
NAFIS advocacy focuses on the following policy and regulatory issues before the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Education:
- Budget & Appropriations. The Impact Aid program is underfunded, meaning school districts do not receive all the funding for which they qualify under the program’s formulas. A key focus of NAFIS advocacy is appropriations—the decisions made by Congress about how the Federal government allocates resources—in an effort to increase funding. This advocacy includes a targeted focus on Impact Aid funding as well as raising the caps on non-defense discretionary funding that are in place under the Budget Control Act, which have limited investments in domestic programs since FY13.
- ESEA Reauthorization. Impact Aid is Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), now also known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Between 1950, when the program was established, and 1994, Impact Aid was a standalone law. In the 1994 ESEA reauthorization, Impact Aid was incorporated as a separate title. Preceding reauthorization, NAFIS works closely with Congress, the Administration, the NAFIS membership and the education community to ensure the Impact Aid law is updated to meet the needs of federally impacted school districts.
- Administration & Regulations. To strengthen implementation of Impact Aid and other programs and to monitor the administrative burden of laws and regulations, NAFIS works closely with ED, educates the Administration and issues comments on proposed regulations. NAFIS also responds to Requests for Information and non-regulatory guidance issued by ED.
- School Vouchers. NAFIS has a longstanding policy of opposing the redirection of public taxpayer dollars outside the public school system, including school vouchers and voucher schemes.
- School Construction. Federally impacted school districts have limited capacity to generate revenue for school facilities due to the presence of nontaxable Federal property. Since 1950, the Federal government has recognized its obligation to support construction and facilities needs for federally impacted schools, with money allocated by formula and competitive grants through Section 7007 of the Impact Aid statute. Funding for this section of the law falls far below what is required to meet federally impacted school districts’ needs. NAFIS promotes awareness of those needs and advocates for increased funding to meet them.
NAFIS has numerous advocacy tools to help its members engage in advocacy and share their stories with elected officials.
NAFIS also works closely with the Senate and House of Representatives Impact Aid Coalitions.