SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Would you like your child to have better school equipment and textbooks' Would you like it if the federal government gave money to our schools to provide better educational tools'

Parents of school-aged children can make a difference by completing the Federal Survey Card, which will be sent home with students, Sept. 8, and must be returned the following day, Sept. 9.

By completing this simple card, your child will have the opportunity to receive much needed supplies, equipment and services.

What do the survey cards determine'

The survey cards determine the number of federally-connected students in the public school system. Federally-connected students are those children whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) reside and/or work on federal property; children whose parents reside in federal low-rent housing, not including, Section 8 housing; and children whose parent(s) are a member of the uniformed services, but who reside off the military base, including children of foreign military officers.

Based on these criteria, data is collected from the survey cards and delivered to the federal Department of Education (DoE), which reimburses the Hawaii DOE in impact aid for educating federally-connected students.

Impact aid is the only federal education program where the funds are sent directly to the school district.

Why should parents fill out the federal survey card'

Impact aid is used by the DOE in needed areas as determined by the locally-elected school board. Funds can be used for teacher salaries, school programs, materials, equipment and supplies.

"Hawaii's public schools rely on federal impact aid as a significant part of the education budget," said Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto. "By filling out and returning the survey cards, parents are helping our schools claim and benefit from their authorized share of federal support."

How can parents help'

Parents are encouraged to fill out and return surveys to schools promptly. Non-response could result in the loss of millions of dollars in federal funds that benefit both our military and local communities.

Every card that is not returned will result in lost revenues to Hawaii classrooms statewide.