Walker signs school sparsity aid for rural schools - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walker signs school sparsity aid for rural schools

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MADISON (WKOW) --- Governor Walker signed a bill into law that will increase school sparsity aid funding for rural school districts. Before rural districts were spending about $300 per pupil, now it will increase to $400.

"Doesn't matter what ZIP code you live in, it shouldn't matter what your parents do for a living, every child in the state and every student should have access to a great education," said Governor Walker.

The sparsity aid will benefit an estimated 144 school districts in Wisconsin. Bill author Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) says these districts will no longer have to feel a big financial pinch and will benefit greatly from this bill.

"$2,000 for school districts in Verona or Madison may not seem like much, but I’ll tell you what for district’s like Riverdale it can be a whole lot," said Marklein.

Walker says the new funding will allow districts to address their unique needs like enrollment and transportation.“This will give them a little extra boost on top of the amount we differ every school district, which was $200 per student across the state."

The law also includes an increase to the low revenue ceiling from $9,100 per pupil to $9,400. It starts with a $300 increase in the 2018-2019 school year and then each year after that it will go up $100.   ($9,500 in 2019-2020, $9,600 2020-2021, $9,700 2021-2022...)

Walker says currently 107 school district have per pupil revenue amounts under $9,400. If so, districts can apply to see if their eligible.     

"There's been a cap to how much they could spend and this new law will allow to go up and give them a big amount, said Walker.”  “This year and each year thereafter until we get up to every student in the state has at least $9,800 behind them.”

It's estimated rural school districts will see a $6 million boost from this legislation.

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