Rural Schools Task Force recommendations expected by AprilSubmitted: 03/09/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

RHINELANDER - Superintendents at rural schools face challenges like growing poverty, declining enrollment, and high transportation costs.

The State Assembly formed the Rural Schools Task Force to find ways to help.

12 members of the State Assembly make up the task force.

They've traveled to schools around the state for the last six months.

They made two stops in the Northwoods.

The task force turned to superintendents, business leaders, and other community members to learn more about the challenges the schools and communities face.

The state did increase funding for schools in their most recent

But some rural school superintendents said the $150 per student budget increase this year wasn't enough.

They want the state's funding formula to change.

"Initially when we brought the task force together, the task force was charged to find solutions that didn't necessarily - weren't fiscal. And so what we found is these school districts are doing the best they can with the money they have. And unfortunately, a lot of these solutions will be fiscal. And so that could potentially be pointing to the next budget cycle," said Republican Rep. Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander, the Rural Schools Task Force Chair.

He says high transportation costs, poor broadband service, declining enrollment and lower teacher retention rates will most likely be addressed in the recommendations.

"The report is going to be generated hopefully here in the next week or so by legislative council. And then the task force will get a chance to look at the report and give our final recommendations to Speaker Vos."

The report is expected to come out at the end of this month or the beginning of April.

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

Bergman Family Tree Farm closesSubmitted: 11/30/2015

RHINELANDER - Normally at this time of year, families would be making their way through the Bergman Family Tree Farm to pick out that perfect Christmas tree.

"People like to come and take their kids out there on sleds. We have sleds that they can use. A lot of them like that. Yeah, they'd come out here even in the rain. We'd always have candy canes," said owner Peter Bergman.

+ Read More

MERRILL - With the season of giving upon us, many people will be looking for ways to help out those who are in need this winter.

This year, you will only have to go as far as your closet to help families living in the Northwoods.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Police departments across northcentral Wisconsin keep their eyes on the national news. But do the police shootings of people like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee, and Tony Robinson in Madison change how departments handle training of new officers?


+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander voters will decide in February whether to give the school more money.

The School District of Rhinelander will try to pass a referendum.

It would cost about $5 million each year for the next three years.

+ Read More

MERRILL - Merrill hopes that having snowmobiles zipping through town this winter will provide an economic boost for the city. 

This year, the city council approved ATV, UTV, and snowmobile routes in town Those vehicles will share city streets with cars in many areas.

Allowing people to use those alternate modes of transportation could convince more winter tourists to stop in Merrill instead of traveling somewhere farther north to shop.

+ Read More

Play Video

PARK FALLS - Many people in the Northwoods go to church on Sunday mornings, and some of them may do so begrudgingly.

But there are plenty of faithful people, often the elderly or the sick, who want to go to church but have a hard time doing so.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - The 400 Block in Wausau looks a little more like Christmas today. City workers put up a Christmas tree on one of the corners downtown.

The tree came from a different part of the city, near Third Avenue and Spruce Street. Garlands already decorate many lampposts in downtown Wausau.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here