Loading

56°F

56°F

57°F

52°F

54°F

58°F

57°F

59°F

54°F

57°F

59°F

57°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

Rural Schools Task Force holds first public hearingSubmitted: 10/23/2013
Story By Lex Gray


RHINELANDER - Rural schools face different challenges than schools in suburbs and cities. State legislators say they want to understand what those challenges are, and how they might help.

Local state representative Rob Swearingen chairs the Rural Schools Task Force. Eleven other representatives make up the task force.

Their goal is to create legislation that will help rural schools. Today, the task force listened to superintendents from four local districts.

Their overwhelming message: the school funding formula needs to change. Most Northwoods districts get less state aid because they have high property values.

"It doesn't take into account the ability of our taxpayers to help with the funding of schools," said Kelli Jacobi, superintendent of the School District of Rhinelander. "As our state aid goes down, our taxpayers are expected to pay more, and our taxpayers can't afford to do that."

Swearingen says he hopes house speaker Robin Vos will listen to that. But the funding formula wasn't the purpose of the task force, and it won't be the focus.

"The focus of this group is to make sure the school districts are using the money they have more effectively, so that's part of the discussion. Clearly, the state doesn't have money to just throw at the districts," Swearingen said. "But if we can transfer some of this into categorical aid, something that specifically relates to these rural school problems, maybe we can address some of those financial issues."

Categorical aid could apply to costs like transportation. Three of the four superintendents who spoke today said that would be a big help.

Their districts are geographically large, so they spend huge amounts of money getting kids to and from school. Northland Pines spends $1.3 million every year. Rhinelander spends $1.5 million.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MERRILL - The Merrill Historical Society held its first History Hunt Saturday. The group has been working on the plan for the event since last October, and it finally chose a transportation theme.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAND O' LAKES - The Phelps community came together Saturday to turn tragedy into something positive.

"Mrs. Johnson was always one of our favorite teachers, you could go to her about anything like troubles at home or bullying, and she'd always be there for us so it's really nice to give back to her," said Phelps 8th grader Alexandria Myszka.

Kim Johnson works as the music teacher at Phelps Middle School. After her husband D.J. was hurt in an accident last month, he's now paralyzed from the waist down.

But the community decided to help the family.

"Originally, this was our 8th grade class fundraiser, but after we heard about Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, we decided to donate all of the proceeds to them," said Myszka.

The Phelps 8th graders hosted a breakfast fundraiser at The Sunrise Lodge in Land O' Lakes. More than 300 people came out in support.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - This was the sixth year that the event was held at various places in Marathon County. Volunteers were picking up trash to better their communities at 35 locations. Many local groups were involved.

"Faith Christian Academy and Hope Life Center, and there's other businesses and groups within the city of Wausau," said volunteer Dave Arends.

+ Read More

LAKE MILLS - A Lake Mills poultry processing facility will start production again after euthanizing 800,000 chickens in response to an outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest.

+ Read More

WAUSHARA COUNTY - A dump truck hit a restaurant in central Wisconsin Friday night, injuring six people.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAKE TOMAHAWK - In an effort to help local veterans understand the wide range of VA programs and services available to them, the American Legion post in Tomahawk hosted an informational forum Saturday.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - Students graduating from high school could be at risk for contracting meningitis. Public health experts say now is a good time to make sure high school students are up to date on their meningitis vaccinations.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here