MADISON – Governor Scott Walker toured schools in Thorp, Cashton, and Hartford today to discuss the historic investments made in K-12 education and highlight the additional investments made in Wisconsin’s rural school districts. Earlier this week, Governor Walker signed Assembly Bill 835 into law which provides additional aid to rural school districts. This investment comes on top of the historic $11.5 billion investment for K-12 education included in the state budget.
“Rural school districts face unique challenges, which is why we wanted to provide more resources to these districts on top of what we put in the budget,” Governor Walker said. “Every student, regardless of where they live, deserves access to a great education, and this additional aid will help these districts and their students succeed.”
The bill signed into law by Governor Walker on Monday in Muscoda helps low-population school districts by modifying the sparsity categorical aid program for school districts and the revenue limit ceiling for school districts. The bill increases the per-pupil sparsity amount from $300 to $400 beginning in fiscal year 2018-19 and appropriates $6,454,600 GPR to fund this increase. This will benefit an estimated 144 school districts. The bill would increase the low revenue ceiling from $9,100 to $9,400 in 2018-19, $9,500 in 2019-20, $9,600 in 2020-21, $9,700 in 2021-22 and $9,800 in 2022-23. Currently, 107 school districts have per pupil revenue base amounts of less than $9,400, and therefore may be eligible for the low revenue ceiling adjustment in 2018-19.
Governor Walker also announced his $100 million School Safety Plan yesterday. The Governor's plan was created with input from both the State Senate and State Assembly, and it has the support of Attorney General Brad Schimel. Governor Walker called a special session of the Legislature to pass his plan. The plan includes seven components:
- Establishing the Office of School Safety under the Wisconsin Department of Justice
- Creating a $100 million School Safety Grant Program under the Office of School Safety
- Requiring Mandatory Reporting for any threats of school violence
- Amending bullying statute to include prompt parental notification
- Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) into training programs
- Strengthening school safety plan requirements
- Encouraging cooperation with local law enforcement