Posted at 4:10 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2021
The Brillion News
MADISON - The legislature's Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) voted to give preference in distributing $65 million in new federal funds to schools that have children on campus and in the classroom.
The committee met on February 10 and took up a request from the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to distribute about $700 million in federal funds to K-12 schools around the state.
Ninety percent of those funds go through Title I allocations and cannot be amended.
But the remaining $65 million, because of the JFC's amendment to the DPI request, will be distributed based on the number of hours of in-person instruction provided by the school districts for the 2020-2021 school year.
"We want to incentivize and reward districts that are open for in-person education," said state Senator Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville,
He said the provision would also reward schools that return to in-person instruction during the current semester.
State Representative Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, said the plan will reward "those school districts who have spent time and resources to make [in-school instruction] happen."
"Teachers are doing everything they can to meet the needs of our kids, but virtual school is just not the same," said Representative Jesse Rodriguez, R-Oak Creek. "The [Centers for Disease Control] says that getting our kids back to school is safe and important..With proper safety protocols, kids should be coming back."
All four of the school districts in The Brillion News coverage area - Brillion, Hilbert, Reedsville and Wrightstown - have offered on-campus, in-person, face-to-face instruction throughout the 2020-2021 school year.