Governor Walker unveils rural schools funding plan

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Governor Scott Walker

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker is proposing increasing and expanding aid that’s targeted to the state’s most rural, low-populated schools.

Walker on Wednesday, February 1st released details of his rural schools funding plan. He is also calling for increasing state aid to help rural schools pay high transportation costs and require the University of Wisconsin to develop a program to train teacher’s aides and other paraprofessionals to become full-time teachers.

He is also proposing increasing funding for broadband and technology grants.

Walker says he is also planning to provide a “significant” increase for all public schools. He says details of that were to be released soon.

All of the funding proposals will be in Walker’s budget he releases next week. Walker was making the announcement at stops at three rural schools.

Walker’s proposal is winning praise.

John Forester is director of the School Administrators Alliance that represents about 3,000 principals, superintendents and other administrators. He says Walker’s plan helps address the needs of rural schools, but their biggest priority is getting more money to pay for an increase in the per-pupil revenue cap.

Forester says he supports Walker’s rural school plan that would increase aid targeted to the smallest districts and help pay for the high cost of transporting students in rural areas.

Kim Kaukl is executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, which represents about 144 schools. He says he sees “good things” in Walker’s plan.