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 budget.
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.
NORTHWOODS - Lakes and nature bring people from all over the country to the Northwoods during the summer. Those same attractions get some people to stay here. Home sales and home prices in the Northwoods went up in 2017.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports about 1,300 more homes sold last year than in 2016 in Wisconsin. A local broker saw the increase firsthand.
"The markets that are going crazy right now are premium homes. The Minocqua chain is red hot, the Eagle River chain is pretty hot the Three Lakes chain is pretty hot and there are some chains of lakes that are less hot," said Coldwell Banker broker Jim Mulleady.
MINOCQUA - A Lakeland Union High School student could face punishment for putting a shooting threat in a bathroom last week.
According to a press release, the Minocqua Police Department believes the girl officers talked to today is likely the person who left graffiti referencing the Parkland, Florida school shooting in an LUHS girls' bathroom on Thursday.
WAUSAU - Police arrested a Florence County man in connection to a Wausau homicide case this week. Online court records show Lee Franck, 56 doesn't face homicide charges, but instead domestic abuse counts.
According to the Wausau Pilot and Review paper, the criminal complaint shows Franck got into an argument with Lyle Leith a few days before the 77-year-old was found dead at his Wausau home on Kickbusch Street.
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