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BoE lobbies for aid during D.C. trip
0404 BoE visits DC
From left: Charlie Frazier, Lily Baker, Richard Gerakitis, Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ legislative assistant, Mary Alexander and Jason Rogers pose for a photo during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. - photo by Photo provided.
Several members of the Liberty County Board of Education recently traveled to Washington, D.C. BoE Chairwoman Lily Baker, board member Charlie Frasier, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Mary Alexander and Assistant Superintendent of Finance Jason Rogers attended the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools Association conference. The organization is a nonprofit, non-partisan corporation of school districts from around the United States. It was created primarily to educate Congress on the importance of Impact Aid.
Impact Aid, passed into law by Congress in 1950, is a federal program that provides funding to school districts for a portion of the educational costs as a result of the presence of a military installation. It is an in-lieu-of-tax program.
A large federal installation nearby means that a lot of property is removed from the local tax rolls, which support public education. Therefore, the school district cannot tax the military base where parents often work. The district also cannot tax property that belongs to private industries on the base. The federal government acts as a local taxpayer by funding the Impact Aid program.  
President Barack Obama’s budget request imposes a freeze on the fiscal year 2011 appropriations for Impact Aid. Because Impact Aid funds are received on a formula basis, the proposed freeze could mean a decrease in Impact Aid payments to districts.
Liberty BoE representatives visited the offices of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Sen. Johnny Isakson and Rep. Jack Kingston to request an increase in appropriations to the Impact Aid program. The group told each lawmaker that state revenue has been drastically cut and Impact Aid funds are vital to the system.

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