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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Governor Visits School-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, visited Wausaukee High and Elementary Schools on Tuesday, Oct. 10 to promote increased state aid for rural schools. The Governor visited several classrooms and technical education areas. In his remarks, Governor Walker said the increased aid would amount to approximately $288,000 more for the Wausaukee School District. The increase in Sparsity Aid per pupil in the new bill went from $300 per pupil to $400 for each pupil. Top Photo��Governor Walker in his brief remarks tells the students about the benefits of the increased state aid for rural districts while Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Jeff Mursau look on. Rep. Mursau helped to write the bill incorporating more state aid for rural schools. Bottom Photo��Governor Walker gives a short history of Wisconsin lesson to students.

Gov. Increases Sparsity Aid for Rural Schools

Governor Scott Walker visited schools in Wausaukee, Cadott, and Belmont Tuesday, Oct. 10 to announce his support for legislation that will increase Sparsity Aid for rural schools. The increased aid for rural schools is on top of the budget"s historic $11.5 billion investment in K-12 funding, increased support for High-Cost Transportation Aid in rural areas, and expanded efforts to provide broadband access statewide.

 "Rural communities have unique challenges and our original state budget plan included a major boost for rural schools," said Governor Walker. "I am pleased that Senator Marklein and Representative Mursau are introducing a bill incorporating initiatives from our budget proposal to help rural schools."

Senator Howard Marklein (R " Spring Green) and Representative Jeff Mursau (R " Crivitz) introduced legislation that increases Sparsity Aid for the 2018-19 school year. The Sparsity Aid Program aims to offset the challenges faced by low-population school districts through providing $300 in per-pupil funding for districts with 745 students or less and a population density of less than 10 students per square mile.

The new bill provides an increase from $300 per pupil to $400 per pupil for districts that currently qualify for Sparsity Aid, and creates a second tier of Sparsity Aid by providing $100 per pupil for districts with 746-1000 pupils.

"This bill provides rural schools with support that they desperately need," said Marklein. "I am proud to champion this bill and look forward to working with my colleagues to move it through the legislative process."

"This increase in Sparsity Aid will positively impact rural school districts across Wisconsin," said Mursau. "Our rural districts face significant challenges and I"m thankful we have an opportunity to provide these districts additional state support."

Governor Walker has visited more than 50 schools across Wisconsin since the beginning of 2017, and the budget he signed into law provides a $636 million increase in general and categorical aids. The total two-year state investment in K-12 education is $11.5 billion, an all-time high in actual dollars.

Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance added, "The proposed 2017-19 budget included a provision that increased sparsity aid to help support small, declining enrollment schools. After thoughtful review and analysis, the Joint Committee on Finance voted to remove the Governor"s proposal to increase sparsity aid. At the time, we believed that this alone was not the appropriate way to fund smaller declining enrollment schools and that a long-term approach is more appropriate.

"Instead, we adopted provisions that rewarded districts for sharing administrative functions and entering into collaborative agreements. We also provided relief for low-spending, frugal districts, many of which are rural schools. These reforms would have provided more resources for the classroom, increased educational opportunities for students, and would have provided an environment for rural schools to flourish.


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