Killeen: Leaders address federal money tied to military students

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) With the percentage of military kids enrolled in Killeen Independent School District getting close to a federal threshold, leaders took their concerns to the nation's capital.

During a school board meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Dr. John Craft provided an update to board members on the federal impact aid. Killeen ISD expects to receive more than $46.6 million in fiscal year 2019.

Craft says that is almost 1/7th of the district's general operating budget. In order to maintain those funds, the district must have over 35 percent of kids tied to military families.

This year, Killeen ISD stands at 37 percent, down from 39 percent of military kids last year.

District officials are asking to have that 35-percent threshold removed, instead focusing on the total number of on-base and off-post military kids in comparison to other districts.

Killeen ISD has the largest federally-connected impact in the country, and impact aid funding is critical to the operations of the district, officials said. The money is important, in part, because Fort Hood does not pay local taxes.

With the increase of non-federal (military) families moving to Killeen, the percentage of military kids within the district is dropping. Craft says they are being proactive before 2020 to hopefully address concerns.

School board President Corbett Lawler, Deputy Superintendent Eric Penrod and Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley joined Craft in Washington, D.C. and held meetings.