The Network for Public Education Action Fund worked closely with other advocacy groups to Block a proposal to convert Impact Aid for public schools into vouchers. The Trump administration just announced that it would not support the legislation, which was opposed by groups representing military families.

“The Trump administration does not support a proposal to use a portion of Impact Aid program funding to help expand school choice to military-connected children, an administration official told Education Week.

“Sources within the administration say they want to give military families more choices. But they don’t think robbing impact aid is the way to do it. Impact aid dollars are used to help school districts make up for a federal presence, such as Native American reservation or military base. Under Banks’ proposal, which is based on a paper written by the conservative Heritage Foundation, part of the funding would instead flow directly to families in the form of Education Savings Accounts or ESAs. These accounts can be used for a range of services, including private school tuition, dual enrollment courses, or tutoring.

“Banks had planned to introduce the bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which is up for debate in Congress soon. Supporters, including the Heritage Foundation, say the legislation would expand education options to an important population of students and would help military retention rates.

“But detractors, including the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, worry that the proposal could divert as much as $450 million from impact aid.

“That would create “unprecedented uncertainty” for federally impacted school, wrote NAFIS in a recent report. “The potential for such a significant funding reduction would severely hinder a school district’s ability to maintain the staff, programs, services, and infrastructure necessary to support military connected students, a vast majority of whom are educated in public school districts.”