Category Archive: Rural

Feb 03

Legislative Update – February 3

The ongoing battle over redistricting, informational meetings on the welfare of children, rural school funding, the State Investment Board, and the school start date were among the topics in this week’s news.

Nov 09

School referendums pass in overwhelming numbers

Voters throughout Wisconsin showed enormous support for their neighborhood public schools on Tuesday, approving 82% of school referendums. The Department of Public Instruction reported that 55 of 67 referendums were approved. “The people we elect to represent us in Madison should keep in mind, as they develop the next state budget, that Wisconsin loves its public schools and we are counting on them to work for us, not against us,” said WEAC President Ron Martin.

Sep 15

Study shows inequitable funding hurts student achievement in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s school finance system “actually contributes to inequity of educational opportunity,” according to a new study from the Association for Equity in Funding. “The quality of educational opportunity in Wisconsin now largely depends on where you live, and the relative affluence of your family and community,” the study concludes. “Further, the systemic problems indicated by this study require immediate solutions to address systemic issues of student poverty, truancy, and increasing inequity in school funding.”

Sep 09

Shankland says rural schools are at a ‘breaking point’

Over the last five years, rural schools lost general aid at more than three times the rate of non-rural schools, and nearly a quarter of the rural districts saw general state aid decrease by over 50%, Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) said Thursday at a news conference calling for greater support for rural schools. “Our rural districts are at a breaking point,” Shankland said.

Aug 04

The state must provide property tax relief by adequately funding public schools, Senator Vinehout writes

Wisconsin has significantly shifted school funding from the state to the local property tax payer, State Senator Kathleen Vinehout writes in a new column, and the trend must be reversed. Whereas the state once funded two-thirds of the cost of local schools, it now accounts for less than half. “Ironically, taxpayers themselves are voting by way of referenda to raise their property taxes,” she writes. “But they are doing so because state law has left cash-strapped schools no other options.”

Jul 21

Is the sun setting on quality public education in Wisconsin?

It appears that the sun is setting on Wisconsin’s long history of supporting a quality system of public education, State Senator Jennifer Shilling writes this week. In a column published in the La Crosse Tribune, she writes that over the past 100 years Wisconsin’s dedication to providing access to a quality public education has been “a winning model for success, both for workers and for the broader economy.” … “Unfortunately,” she adds, “the sun is setting on those days and our gold standard status has been severely tarnished.”

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