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Impact Aid Policy Advocates Visit Oside
Posted 2/14/20

National Association Federally Impacted Schools With Students

This week, Oceanside Unified School District had a special visit from our partners at the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS). NAFIS serves a vital role in advocating for districts like OUSD that have a large presence of non-taxable federal property within their district boundaries. 

NAFIS Executive Director Hilary Goldmann, Director of Policy and Advocacy Leslie Finnan and Shannon Bradley, the senior district representative for U.S. Representative Mike Levin, were able to take a tour of schools on Camp Pendleton, talk with students and even see a special dance performance.

With 60 percent of our district on federal land, three schools on base, and approximately 3,500 students whose families have military ties, Oceanside Unified is known as a federally impacted school district. This means that because the federal government is exempt from paying property taxes on its lands, including all the housing and businesses on Camp Pendleton, the approximately 50% of a district’s budget that would normally come from local tax revenue is diminished. 

The Impact Aid program under the Every Student Succeeds Act helps districts recover some of that funding. NAFIS plays a significant role in advocating for this program to be funded each year by Congress.

“NAFIS is the leading organization advocating for Impact Aid on behalf of federally impacted school districts and the children they serve,” said Hilary Goldmann, executive director of NAFIS. She added that Oceanside is a special member of the program, given that our district is one of a handful in the U.S. eligible for funding based both on the number of federally connected children we serve and the amount of federal property in the district. 

Goldmann describes Impact Aid as a “replacement for local taxes” that shifts burden off local taxpayers and helps protect our classrooms. Each year, OUSD sends Impact Aid survey cards home for families to fill out and return to school in order for the district to apply for funds. We encourage all families to return these survey cards. This helps review families’ federal ties and create counts that are reported for Impact Aid. Personal information is not shared.

For more information, visit our the OUSD Impact Aid webpage or read the NAFIS Impact Aid FAQ and overview