De Soto – Governor Scott Walker visited Prairie View Elementary School in the De Soto Area School District today to highlight the significant investments in K-12 education and rural schools included in his Executive Budget proposal. The Governor’s plan lifts total K-12 investment to $11.5 billion over two years, an all-time high, and further includes $649 million in new state aids for all of Wisconsin’s K-12 schools.
“As I traveled throughout Wisconsin last year as part of my listening sessions, I heard frequently from parents, teachers, school administrators, and community leaders that we need to strengthen our investments in K-12 education if we want to continue moving our state forward,” Governor Walker said. “We especially need to focus on helping our rural school districts, which face special challenges. Our budget proposal reinvests our Reform Dividend into K-12 and rural education. Today, we’re visiting Prairie View Elementary School to highlight these significant investments because the De Soto Area School District is an example of a Wisconsin school district that directly benefits under our budget proposal.”
Governor Walker’s proposal also provides greater state support for the state’s rural schools through a $20 million increase in Sparsity Aid, $10.4 million increase in High-Cost Transportation Aid, $92,000 investment over the biennium in Pupil Transportation Aid, an increase in the reimbursement rate for pupil transportation, and an additional $22.5 million investment in broadband infrastructure grants.
The De Soto Area School District is estimated to receive more than $1.5 million in funding from these select categorical aids under Governor Walker’s two-year budget, including:
- $243,000 in Fiscal Year 2018 and $353,160 in Fiscal Year 2019 in Per Pupil Aid. This represents an increase of $326,160 over Fiscal Year 2017 doubled. Governor Walker’s budget increases per-pupil funding by $200 per pupil in Fiscal Year 2018 and $204 per pupil in Fiscal Year 2019. This marks the largest increase since the 2005-2007 biennium.
- $66,645 in Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 in Pupil Transportation Aid. This represents an increase of $1,474 over Fiscal Year 2017 doubled. Governor Walker’s budget proposal funds DPI’s budget request for $92,000 in Pupil Transportation Aid over the biennium, increasing reimbursement rates from $300 per pupil to $365 per pupil for more than 12 miles, from $4 per pupil to $10 per pupil for two to five miles in summer school, and from $6 per pupil to $20 per pupil for more than five miles in summer school.
- $165,248 in Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 in High-Cost Transportation Aid. This represents an increase of $130,955 over Fiscal Year 2017 doubled. High-Cost Transportation Aid provides additional transportation aid to school districts with per-pupil transportation costs more than 150 percent of the state average and with a density of 50 pupils per square mile or less.
- $229,200 in Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 in Sparsity Aid. This represents an increase of $124,731 over Fiscal Year 2017 doubled. Sparsity Aid provides $300 per pupil of additional funding to small rural school districts that have less than 745 pupils and a population density of fewer than 10 pupils per square mile of district attendance. Governor Walker’s budget proposal also creates a $100 per pupil tier of sparsity aid funding for districts with 746-1000 pupils, which provides additional stability for school districts that hover around the 745 pupil buffer.
The De Soto Area School District may also be eligible for further funding under Governor Walker’s budget proposal, such as mental health grants, energy efficiency incentives, and special needs grants.