Governor Walker Champions Additional Aid for Wisconsin Schools
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced additional Sparsity Aid payments for the 2018-19 school year under proposed legislation. This change will help offset the unique challenges faced by the following school districts in your area:
- Elcho School District, Current Estimated Increase of $35,493 in Sparsity Aid
- White Lake School District, Current Estimated Increase of $17,384 in Sparsity Aid
“Every child in Wisconsin should receive a great education, regardless of where they live or what their parents do for a living,” said Governor Walker. “That’s why we strongly support additional Sparsity Aid for Wisconsin’s rural schools, and that’s why we invested more into K-12 education than ever before in the history of our state. We’ll continue to drive student success for all of Wisconsin’s students.”
Representative John Nygren (R—Marinette) and Senator Howard Marklein (R—Spring Green) are authoring legislation (Senate Bill 690) that increases Sparsity Aid by $6.4 million for the 2018-19 school year. The bill provides an increase from $300 per pupil to $400 per pupil for districts that currently qualify for Sparsity Aid.
“I am very proud to be joining Governor Scott Walker to introduce this legislation that will provide significant additional resources for public schools across Wisconsin. In particular, relief for low spending districts,” said Representative Nygren. “This bill will provide more resources for the classroom and increase educational opportunities for students, regardless of their zip code. I would like to thank Governor Walker for his collaboration and leadership on this issue and I look forward to continuing to work to ensure that all students get the world-class education they deserve.”
The Sparsity Aid Program aims to offset the challenges faced by low-population school districts through providing $300 in per-pupil funding for school districts with 745 students or less and a population density of less than 10 students per square mile.
“SB 690 enhances the historic $11.5 billion investment in K-12 funding in the biennial budget by providing additional support for rural schools,” Senator Marklein said. “I am proud to champion good policy on behalf of the school districts I serve.”
Investments from the Governor’s budget supporting rural school districts include: increased funding for High-Cost Transportation Aid to help offset the increased cost of transporting students to schools in rural areas; Broadband Expansion grants providing schools and students access to fast, reliable internet service in underserved areas, as well as mobile hotspots for school buses; and $6.65 million to address students’ mental health needs. These initiatives are in addition to the historically-high $11.5 billion investment in K-12 education included the 2017-19 state budget that provides a $200 per student funding increase for every student in every school in the state this year and, on top of that, an additional increase of $204 per student next year.