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

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Sunday morning, Lac du Flambeau welcomed a new event to the community.

The first Carry the Torch 5K and kids' run took place at the Lake of the Torches Casino.

+ Read More

MADISON - The state of Wisconsin paid an estimated $9.7 million in one-time bonuses or various pay increases for state workers in fiscal year 2016.

An analysis by the Wisconsin State Journal found the payments went to 4,638 workers, roughly 15 percent of the state's workforce.

+ Read More

LAWRENCE - A 36-year-old Oneida man has died after police say he drove his car the wrong way on Interstate 41 and crashed into two other vehicles near the town of Lawrence.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Police Department wants a new member of its police squad--specifically, a police dog.

The department has been fundraising for a K9 for the past year or so.

On Saturday the Lakeland Area Public Task Force held Lakeland Area Public Safety Day as a way to raise money.

+ Read More

PORT CLINTON, OHIO - Ohio wildlife officers say 24 people from Wisconsin and one from Ohio have been convicted of exceeding their daily limit of walleye on Lake Erie.

The state's natural resources department says the convictions follow an investigation that began last spring.

+ Read More

DURANT, MISS. - 1:30 p.m.

A former nun who knew one of the two nuns slain in Mississippi says the victim had always been interested in working with the "poorest of the poor."

Darlene Nicgorski said Saturday that she had recruited Sister Margaret Held to come to Holly Springs, Mississippi, to work as a social worker in a program there that ran schools and offered day care to help young mothers finish school.

Nicgorski said Held was "always interested in working with the marginalized, the underserved, the poorest of the poor."

Held and Sister Paula Merrill were found dead Thursday in their Mississippi home. A suspect was arrested late Friday and charged in their killings.

Nicgorski said the sisters' deaths just don't make sense. She said they would have given the suspect anything he needed.

+ Read More

STATEWIDE - A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a pair of rulings affecting Wisconsin's voter ID law, meaning no more changes to the requirement are likely before the November election.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here