Walker backing increased aid for rural schools

Posted at 11:15 a.m. on October 10, 2017

The Brillion News

Governor Scott Walker is visiting schools in Wausaukee, Cadott, and Belmont on Tuesday, October 10, to announce his support for legislation that will increase Sparsity Aid for rural schools.

This increased aid for rural schools would be on top of the budget’s $11.5 billion 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,” Walker said. “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 increase in Sparsity Aid will positively impact rural school districts across Wisconsin,” said Representative Mursau. “Our rural districts face significant challenges and I’m thankful we have an opportunity to provide these districts additional state support.”

The Hilbert, Stockbridge and Reedsville school district qualified for sparsity aid this year. Brillion and Wrightstown did not, however the next “second tier” aid would send new Sparsity Aid funds to both Brillion and Wrightstown schools.

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