Category Archive: Rural

Oct 26

Eight ‘Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin’ recipients named

Projects that have students learning maple syrup production and career and independent living skills, and encouraging them to consider careers in education are among eight receiving 2018 Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin Schools, Libraries, and Communities awards.

Aug 01

Evers says his ‘transformational budget’ will fund 4-year-old kindergarten for all students and achieve two-thirds state funding of schools

State Superintendent Tony Evers said Wednesday that he will propose a “transformational budget” that provides full funding of 4-year-old kindergarten and achieves the state’s longtime commitment of funding two-thirds the cost of local public schools “without any gimmicks while holding the line on taxes.” … “No more false choices. There’s a better way, and that is the high road,” Evers said in opening remarks at the Wisconsin Public Education Network Summer Summit at Appleton North High School.

Jun 13

Article focusing on Arena, Wisconsin, examines the deep challenges and heartbreak faced by rural schools and communities

A New York Times article focusing on the closing this week of Arena Community Elementary School in the River Valley School District examines the heartbreak felt by students, parents and the community as they lose not only their school but the centerpiece of their community. “Administrators say that unforgiving budgets, a dearth of students and an aging population have made it impossible to keep the school open. For the first time since the 1800s, the village of Arena has no school,” the article states.

Feb 14

Legislative Update – February 14 – Assembly OKs rural schools bill

After lengthy debate, the Assembly passed a bill 91-2 to help rural schools. An amendment allows districts with a failed referendum to present another one to voters. If successful, they would then qualify. This provision in the bill, even with the added amendment, received criticism from Democrats, who said it didn’t do enough for struggling rural schools.

Nov 13

Legislative Update – November 13, 2017

A sparsity aid package designed to help rural schools won’t clear the house in this session, the Assembly Majority Leader told a statehouse insider news publication. The $9.7 million package would have provided rural districts with 745 students or less with $400 per pupil through sparsity aid rather than the current $300. There also would have been a second tier in the program for districts with between 746 and 1,000 pupils of $100 per student.

Nov 13

Kay McLain of Florence is named Wisconsin Rural School Teacher of the Year

Florence County High School business education teacher Kay McLain, a member of the Florence County Education Association and WEAC Region 3, has been named the 2017 Rural School Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA).

Jun 14

Report urges policy-makers to make rural schools a higher priority

A new 50-state report urges state and federal leaders to make rural students and their communities a far greater priority and notes that Wisconsin rural schools receive far less state support than the national average. “While some rural schools thrive, far too many rural students face nothing less than a national emergency,” said Robert Mahaffey, the executive director of the non-profit Rural School and Community Trust, which produced the report titled Why Rural Matters.

May 19

Rural teachers share perspectives with UW–Madison education researchers

WEAC members were front-and-center on a panel of public school teachers representing Wisconsin rural districts at the first-ever Teacher Speakout! at UW-Madison. The teachers provided researchers with a first-hand look at what it’s like to live and work in rural schools.

Mar 01

Walker’s budget proposes to cut Wisconsin’s pioneering farm-to-school program

In 2009, Wisconsin was one of the first states in the nation to create a full-time farm-to-school coordinator, whose job was to connect local farmers with cafeterias in local schools. Supporters of the program call it a huge success by any measure. But Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts both the position of farm-to-school coordinator and the advisory council. In the state House, Madison Democrat Melissa Sargent says this proposal is extremely shortsighted.

Feb 17

Two local association leaders discuss challenges faced by rural schools

Two local association presidents from WEAC Region 6 participated in a television panel this week to discuss the challenges facing rural schools. Marshall Education Association President Michael Jansen and Fennimore Education Association President Jon Buslaff joined Fennimore Superintendent Jamie Nutter on a “For the Record” panel hosted by WISC-TV Channel 3 Editorial Director Neil Heinen in Madison.

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