For decades, America’s rural elementary and secondary schools have received impacted aid from the federal government. THE CONCEPT is to “make school districts whole” in terms of compensating them for income they cannot collect by assessing local property taxes on federal lands (including military bases, lands owned by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, etc.). Alone among the three basic sectors of U.S. public higher education (community colleges, regional state universities, public flagship universities), only community colleges receive substantial income from local property taxes—yet rural community colleges receive NOTHING from the federal government for impacted aid.
The Rural Community College Alliance seeks to change this situation. In our recent meetings with the White House Rural Council (2012, 2013) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this agenda item has arisen and will continue to be a topic of concern until a fair and equitable impacted aid program for rural community colleges becomes a reality.