Gov. Doyle Proposes For More Money For School Districts

With last week's elections involving nine out of 21 referendums that didn't pass it seems to be good timing that Governor Jim Doyle has proposed to give schools a break. Its through Doyle's Rural Schools Initiative in which he plans to address declining enrollment numbers as well as lift low revenue districts.
Thorp High School Principal Jim Montgomery says if any of the proposals pass they would play a huge part in school districts. The proposal calls for an additional $600 more per student for each school over two years and Montgomery says that is big money for any district.

“Its not just $600. Its $600 for each student and our districts roughly 600 students and $600 per student so you're looking at about $360,000 which is quite a bit of money,” said Montgomery.

Right now, Montgomery says there is about $8,500 in revenue per student. With the increase it'll be nearly $9,100--dollars that will help schools dealing with declining enrollment numbers. That is another proposal Doyle hopes to tackle through the proposal “If you have a decline we're going to not count that decline. We are going to let you use your complete total enrollment from the year before,” said Carla Vigue a Doyle spokesperson.

Those enrollment numbers are actually the three year average prior to the current school year. Through the state revenue system, the state uses enrollment numbers to determine the amount of aid each district receives. Other parts of the proposal include increasing funding for special education and transportation for rural schools. Vigue says technically these changes would have an impact on all schools not just rural schools.

Story source: WEAU TV.

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