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NEWS STORIES

New School Funding FormulaSubmitted: 11/15/2010
Story By Jeff Allen

STATEWIDE - More federal dollars could soon be pumped into some local school districts.

"Our current school finance system is broken. We can do better. We must do better. We must take a first step." That's a quote straight from State Superintendent, Tony Evers. His new formula has local districts hopeful.

Mike Richie, District Administrator, Northland Pines School District, says, "The important part about Tony's plan is the fact that it sets the minimum per student involvement where it looks at the 54 districts across the state that receive little or no state aid and we happen to be one of those districts, so anything put forward has the potential to help the Northland Pines School District."

District Administrator Mike Richie says, under the new plan, property owners would not receive a tax levy credit anymore, but instead that money would go into the general aid fund.

He says, if that plan was already in place, his school district would have more than $4.4 million dollars.

The district currently gets about $168,000 in state aid and about $3.6 million in property tax levy credit.

Richie says, "All of the property rich districts, not just the Northern Wisconsin districts, but any property rich school district, is placed in an unfair advantage when it comes to any kind of school aid or funding formula."

And while Richie says the plan looks good on paper, there's still a lot of work to be done to make sure it's the right one.

Richie says, "We also need to see what effect it will have on each property owner, because they will no longer receive their levy tax credit."

And a decision this big will take time and effort to work out. It's not set to begin until the 2012 through 2013 school year.

Richie says the plan would also bring property taxes down, because less money would be levied for school taxes.

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