More money for Wisconsin rural schools gets committee OK
MADISON - A proposal to give Wisconsin's most rural schools nearly $7 million more and allow low-spending districts to raise property taxes without a vote has cleared a key legislative hurdle.
The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee on Thursday, Feb. 8, voted unanimously to pass the bill that's backed by Gov. Scott Walker.
The measure would increase the maximum that qualifying low-spending districts can spend on a combination of local property taxes and state aid per student from $9,100 to $9,400 for the 2018-2019 school year.
The state Department of Public Instruction says 123 districts would qualify next year and 200 would qualify over the next six years.
It would also increase by $6.5 million the amount of sparsity aid available to 144 qualifying schools that have 745 or fewer students and membership density of less than 10 students per square mile.