Loading

65°F

64°F

65°F

64°F

63°F

65°F

67°F

64°F

63°F

67°F

65°F

65°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

EAGLE RIVER - Gov. Walker's administration often promises to lower property taxes.

And this year, it has.

But the cuts are pretty small. Wisconsin's budget agency predicts the average home will save $1 this year and $2 next year . 


+ Read More

Play Video

MADISON - A convicted sex offender from Rhinelander can keep pictures of children he cut out of magazines.

A state appeals court dismissed new charges against Albert Chagnon Thursday.

+ Read More

Play Video

MARSHFIELD - Marshfield will break ground for its new library during a ceremony Friday morning. The celebration comes following years of hard work.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - The Wausau School District will use a large grant to renovate the school's planetarium. The current planetarium was built in the late 1960s, and it needs some upgrades.

The school just received a $230,000 grant to complete the project, a process that should take approximately two years.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - In 2003, two bikers found the body of Kenneth Wells in the Wisconsin River behind Trig's in Rhinelander.

At first, police believed Wells drowned. But, more than a decade later, investigators took another look at the case—and this time they called it a homicide. 

+ Read More

Play Video

WESCOTT - Authorities have recovered the body of a man who jumped in a Shawano County lake to rescue his 10-year-old son.

The body was found after authorities resumed a search of Shawano Lake early Thursday.


+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Northern Lights Tour scientist explained Rhinelander's role in potato breeding and genetic studies on Wednesday night.

Every year, about 50,000 varieties of potato are tested to see if they could be commercially sold.

Only about one in a 100,000 will become a named potato variety.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here