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Panels Propose Raising Payments, Setting New Format For Impact Aid

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Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees last week challenged the Reagan Administration's proposal to cut an additional $74 million from 1982 impact-aid programs.

Although the President has requested that impact aid be "capped" at $401 million next year, both chambers of Congress recommended higher appropriation levels. The House Appropriations Committee set impact aid at $475 million; the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education requested $455 million for the program next year.

The House committee designated $435 million of the aid for "Category A" and "Category B" students. Students from families who live and work on federal property are "A" students, and those from families who live or work on federal property are "B" students.

The formula provides that:

All Category A districts would receive 85 percent of last year's payments.

Districts composed of 20 percent or more Category B students would receive 75 percent of last year's payments.

Districts with less than 20 percent Category B students would receive 45 percent of last year's payments.

Districts that would receive less than $5,000 under last year's formula would receive no funds in 1982.

Of the remaining $40 million, $10 million is for "Section 2" payments (to districts affected by federal acquisition of property), $10 million for "Section 7" (paid to districts in the event of natural disasters), and $20 million for construction.

The House formula provides no money for schools that are federally operated on military property ("Section 6" schools). Under the current plan, money for these schools would come from the defense budget.

Last week the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education recommended that:

All Category A districts receive 95 percent of their 1981 payments.

Category B payments be made at 95 percent of 1981 levels only to districts where the number of Category A students plus one-half the B students equals 15 percent or more of the school district's enrollment.

3(d)2(b) districts--those whose total enrollment includes 50 percent or more Category A and Category B students--be fully funded.

The Secretary of Education be allowed to waive the 50-percent requirement for districts with "an additional hardship," an example of which would be a "Super A" district with 27 percent Category A and 13 percent Category B students, a total of 40 percent, which under the third provision would not entitle the district to full funding.

Both formulas are to be presented to the full Senate Committee on Appropriations.

But further cuts may be requested by the Reagan Administration.

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