Assembly task force says rural schools need better funding - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Assembly task force says rural schools need better funding

GALESVILLE, Wis. (WXOW) - A special task force made of Wisconsin Assembly members found that rural schools need more funding and the way they get funded needs to change.

Through a series of hearings and interviews with superintendents, the task force found a way to remedy the challenges rural schools face.

About half of Wisconsin public school students go to a rural school. More than 400 students go to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School.

Principal Troy White said funding for things like transportation and technology are scarce. Currently the high school has a computer cart system.

Where a cart of 25 laptops can be rented out, but there are only two carts for the entire school.

White said next year the school plans on giving every student an IPad. They got funding for that from state-approved money outside the revenue limit.

Members of the task force are concerned with the way the schools get their money, which is based on enrollment numbers and property value.

Democratic Representative Chris Danou said, "Essentially the formula punishes rural school districts" and that "a largely populated school can look wealthy when it's not."

The assembly report says changing the current state revenue limits is one way to give rural schools more money.

The legislature is adjourned for the year so the soonest any of the recommendations could be acted upon is January.

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