Schools urging parents to fill out Federal Impact Aid forms sent home with their children

MADISON COUNTY Ala. -- Madison County parents, you have been assigned some homework. But it is homework you probably won't mind doing because it may mean more money for your child's school.

If you have a child in Madison County, Madison City, or Huntsville City Schools, make sure you dig through your child's backpack this week and look for a Federal Impact Aid form.

"It is absolutely important. Without filling out those forms, you cannot guarantee that your child education is appropriately paid for by the federal government," said Col. Kelsey Smith, the Garrison Commander of Redstone Arsenal.

Impact Aid is a program that helps school systems in which many students have federal employees as parents. Parents who don't necessarily pay into the state tax system which funds the school.

"This goes toward staff. It goes toward tutors, it goes toward counselors, it goes toward professional development," said Robby Parker, the Madison City Schools Superintendent. "It all goes directly back into the students."

If you work on federal land, like for the Army, NASA, TVA or a federal courthouse, then you could earn your child's public school some money. The schools are urging parents to sign these forms and turn them in as soon as possible. And to remember to fill out one form per child. They say even if you aren't sure you qualify, fill it out and let the government decide.

The aid has given Madison city schools alone more than $3 million in the last decade. It also allows the schools to be able to apply for grants that bring even more money to the schools.

"So you get a funding per student that qualifies, but also when you reach a certain threshold, that school qualifies for additional grants from the Department of Defense," said Matt Massey, the Superintendent of Madison County Schools.

Madison County schools received a $750 thousand stem grant, but they want even more schools to qualify.

This year, over 2,500 Madison City student's parents work on federal property. That's 23-percent of total enrollment.

The superintendents of Madison City, Madison County, and Huntsville City Schools say it is very important that parents return these forms, to get the schools the money their children deserve.

Forms should be coming home with students this week. Parents are asked to return the forms as quickly as possible, no later than September 28th.