Northwoods school funding Crisis - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Northwoods school funding Crisis

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by Brittany Earl

ELCHO(WAOW)-- It's a game of pennies versus dollars and some believe the Northwoods is losing. Wisconsin received $179 million from the Federal Education Jobs Fund Act but the way the money was dispersed to school districts raises a red flag.

Bill Fisher, Elcho Superintendent says, "Just after the announcement was made I actually thought it was a mistake but it wasn't."

Fisher says, his district only received 25 bucks, 25 bucks to divvy up among all his students. That's because the governor chose to distribute the cash through the State Aid Equalization Formula.

Tom Beebe, Director of Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools says, "The formula we have doesn't see income, only property wealth so school districts like Rhinelander, Elcho and Three Lakes get very little money for their schools."

For example Elcho has lots of pricey properties, so that district received just 7 cents per student. But the superintendent there says that doesn't add up because incomes in his town are low. "I don't think its fair, I would rather of seen the funds distribute based on the total number of students in the state. Divided by the total allocations so each student receives the same amount of money," said Fisher.

"Unless we change the way we fund our schools nothing is going to get better and it's going to continue to get worse. I would predict with the formula we have every school district will eventually go bankrupt, some are approaching that," said Beebe. "Given the fact that we only received $25 dollars, I think it high lights the problem and the disparity with the current formula," said Fisher.

Online Reporter: Brittany Earl

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