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Sparsity aid revisions to help dozens of Wisconsin school districts, some locally



A number of area local school districts stand to benefit from a new funding rule just signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker.

Under the bill school sparsity state aid would increase by about a third, from $300 to $400 per student.

Walker traveled an hour west of Madison to sign the bill at Monday at Riverdale High School in Muscoda, Wis.

He tweeted:

As the governor elections near, Walker is trying to get education money back after cuts of nearly $800 million from public schools back in 2012.

The Wisconsin State Journal wrote last month:

In total, Walker would send $11.5 billion to public, charter and private voucher schools in the two years starting July 1, including $649 million in new spending.

In the second year of the biennium, the state’s share of K-12 funding will rise to 64.6 percent (the rest comes from property taxes and federal aid).

That’s the highest since 2009 after dropping below 62 percent in 2012, when Walker cut $782 million from public schools — which was largely absorbed by teachers forced to pay higher pension and health insurance premiums. 

School sparsity aid is currently collected by 144 school districts in the state. The aid goes to small school districts that serve a large geographical area — specifically, schools with 745 students or fewer and membership density of less than 10 students per square mile.

Among those who stand to gain from the funding change are Bangor, DeSoto and Cashton school districts.

Each receive currently receive close to $200,000 from the state.

The bill increases the maximum that qualifying low-spending districts can spend through a combination of property taxes and state aid per student from $9,100 to $9,400 for the 2018-19 school year.

The limit will increase by $100 each year to a maximum of $9,800 in the 2022-2023 school year.

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