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New law aims to protect federal funds for schools with military kids

Because of COVID-19, there is fear that children who live in military housing may not be counted accurately when it comes to U.S. Impact Aid.

NORFOLK, Va. — President Donald J. Trump has signed a new law to protect federal funding for school children who live in military housing.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va., 2nd District) introduced the "Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act." It removes barriers that could prevent school districts in communities with military bases -- including here in Hampton Roads -- from receiving appropriate funding during the pandemic.  

"The purpose of this bill is to make sure that we count all those children. And that's normally a process that happens every year, where the parents send some paperwork back to the school," said Luria. "But because of COVID, it's just has been really hard for our school systems to be able to count every student."

The Department of Defense’s Impact Aid for Military-Connected School Districts Program compensates school districts that collect less in local property taxes due to high proportions of their student bodies living on military bases and students whose parents are employed by the military.

During the pandemic, it's feared that many school districts could lose funding because it's tough to get an accurate headcount. 

The new law will allow school districts to use their count from last year.