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

EAGLE RIVER - In Eagle River this weekend, seven wounded warriors from around the country were able to enjoy the relaxation of being outdoors.

Marine Tyson Scott always wondered how outdoor activities helped people heal.

He may never know the answer to that question, but what he does know is the outdoors has helped him and many other veterans.

+ Read More

GERMANTOWN - Officials say three people were burned when gasoline was thrown onto a burning fire pit in Germantown, causing an explosion.

+ Read More
Trump set to visit Waukesha Submitted: 09/24/2016

MADISON - Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is set to visit Wisconsin again.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - The 52nd year of Beef-a-Rama has come and gone.

One Beef-a-Rama roaster has participated in Minocqua's iconic event every year since its inception.

That's Bill Ross, owner of Ross Sportswear and Ross' Plus. He says he and his family change up the recipe up a bit from year to year.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Seven veterans from across the country landed in Wisconsin on Friday for the second annual Eagle River Muskie CHal-Lunge.

+ Read More

BURLINGTON, WASHINGTON - The latest on a fatal shooting at a mall in Washington state:

8:36 a.m.

A gunman who fatally shot five people at a Washington state mall remained at large as authorities said the motive for the slaying was unknown, but there was no indication the shootings were a terrorist act.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Gavin Hoffman thinks he's pretty good at kickball.

"Yeah, I scored, like, three runs today," the 11-year-old said nonchalantly Friday morning.

But he knows winning isn't everything.

"Obviously we want to win, but it's not so bad if we don't win," Hoffman said.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here