UPDATE: Walker's rural schools plan wins praise - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Walker's rural schools plan wins praise

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

The Latest on Gov. Scott Walker's rural schools plan (all times local):

9:55 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to bolster funding for Wisconsin's rural schools 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.

Walker promises to provide details on his school funding proposal for all public schools soon.

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.

9:05 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker is proposing to increase and expand aid that's targeted to the state's most rural, low-populated schools.

Walker on Wednesday 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.

8:32 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker is set to announce a plan that he says will "dramatically" help rural Wisconsin schools.

Walker planned stops at three schools Wednesday in Wauzeka, Hilbert and Crandon to unveil his proposal that will be part of the state budget he releases next week.

Walker is expected to target sparsity aid for rural schools, transportation aid, expanding broadband internet access, administrative efficiency and initiatives to "improve the teacher pipeline.

Rural schools have been advocating for years for more money to address teacher shortages, declining enrollment, increasing transportation costs and to make investments in technology such as high-speed internet access.

Public schools, including those in rural parts of the state, have been pushing for more money and an increase in revenue limits to keep the funding in the classroom.

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