Simon backs federal Impact Aid for North Chicago schools
CHICAGO – November 11, 2011. On Veteran’s Day, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon urged Illinois members of Congress to maximize federal education funding for school districts serving Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago.
In a letter sent to the delegation today, Simon asked U.S. House members to support legislation that would allow the five elementary and high school districts that serve Great Lakes families to continue pooling their student cohorts to qualify for a higher rate of federal Impact Aid.
Impact Aid is designed to help cover the cost of educating students whose families live or work on federally owned, property tax-exempt land, such as military bases. Without the legislation, North Chicago-area schools could lose millions of dollars.
Simon serves as the Governor’s point person on education reform and is the chair of the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee. The legislation is supported by Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.
“As we celebrate Veterans’ Day and honor those who have served and are serving our country, it is important that we support their families as well,” Simon said in the letter.
The federal Impact Aid funding would benefit all students in five public school districts serving Great Lakes: Glenbrook High School District 225, Glenview School District 34, North Chicago District 187, North Shore District 112, and Township High School District 113.
More than 35,000 U.S. Navy recruits pass through Great Lakes’ doors each year, joining an additional 13,500 students who attend training schools on the base annually. About 2,000 children of Great Lakes personnel attend public schools in the area.
As chair of the military base committee, Simon coordinates the state’s activities and communications relating to current and former military bases in Illinois, and also provides advice and recommendations for base retention, realignment and reuse efforts.
The military base committee was established in 2005 in response to nationwide base closures, and it continues to coordinate local, state and federal action on retention, realignment and reuse efforts.