The program authorizes formula (ESEA Section 8007(a)) and competitive (ESEA Section 8007(b)) grants to support school construction in local educational agencies (LEAs) that educate federally connected students or have federally owned land. Grants are used to repair, renovate, or alter a public elementary or secondary school facility to ensure the health, safety, and well being of students and school personnel.
Impact Aid Construction grants can be used to help repair and modernize schools and alleviate overcrowding. Funds may generally be used for elementary and secondary school construction activities, including the preparation of drawings and specifications for school facilities; erecting, building, acquiring, altering, remodeling, repairing, or extending school facilities; and inspecting and supervising the construction of school facilities. Under ARRA, the funds cannot be used for construction activities related to casinos or other gambling establishments, aquariums, zoos, golf courses, or swimming pools. In addition, under the ESEA, the discretionary grant funds may not be used for improvements to facilities which the LEA does not have full title or other interest, improvements or repairs of school grounds that do not directly involve instructional facilities, repair, renovation, alteration or construction for facilities primarily used for athletic contests, improvements or repairs to teacher housing, partial or complete replacement of an existing school facility unless it is less costly to do so, acquisition of real property except in limited circumstances when new construction if permitted, maintenance costs associated with any of an LEA’s school facilities, or supplanting or replacing other available non-Federal construction money.