Loading
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

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's softball coach approached the city to build a second softball field at Pioneer Park earlier this year. 

When the city approved the softball association's request to look into the possibility of another field, people on both sides of the argument spoke up. 

+ Read More

LINCOLN COUNTY - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says an 82-year-old man died after slipping into the water near a Tomahawk-area dam Sunday.

The sheriff's office says Cecil Vogts fell into the water by Bradley Dam in the Township of Bradly.

+ Read More

MERRILL - Merrill's current skate park doesn't feature many of the tools modern skaters need. That's why some people want to build a new one.

The current skate park has old equipment and skaters complain it's not big enough.

+ Read More

MADISON - A report from the Institute of Research on Poverty says the poverty rate in Wisconsin remained flat between 2013 and 2014 despite an increase in jobs.

Researchers for the study say the state's poverty rate held steady at around 10.8 percent between 2013 and 2014.

+ Read More

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has struck down Texas's widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court's biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century.

The justices voted 5-3 Monday in favor of Texas clinics that protested the regulations as a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation's second-most populous state.

+ Read More

TOMAHAWK - A 31-year-old woman in Tomahawk will face drug charges after being arrested last week.

The Tomahawk Police Department said Monday it arrested Ashleigh Wright on Thursday after investigating the sale and distribution of meth.

+ Read More

PHILLIPS - Police want to figure out what caused the death of a 16-year-old girl in Phillips.

At about 6 a.m. Thursday, officers were called to an apartment in downtown Phillips following a report of a medical emergency. When they arrived, they found the girl unresponsive and not breathing.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here