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Click the image above to read the final report. 

 

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To watch our public hearings on Wisconsin Eye, click the link below.

WisconsinEye

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                            MAY 6, 2014
Contact: State Representative Rob Swearingen                                                (608) 266-7141
 
Speaker’s Task Force on Rural Schools Releases Report
 
Madison, WI – Today, Rep. Rob Swearingen (R - Rhinelander), the chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Rural Schools, released a report containing recommendations to Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) after months of traveling throughout Wisconsin. 
 
“The work of the task force members has been exceptional,” said Rep. Swearingen. “The final report is a result of testimony received throughout the hearing process and contains ideas from both Democrats and Republicans.”
 
The task force recommends the following:
 
·        Allow school districts to share certain grades without consolidation
·        Encourage internet providers to extend high-speed internet access throughout Wisconsin
·        Allow flexibility in teacher licensing
·        Create a new version of the TEACH program
·        Exempt one-time technology costs from revenue limits
·        Use the highest enrollment within the last five years in determining revenue limits
·        Increase funding for transportation aid
·        Reevaluate the existing equalization aid formula
·        Permit school districts to adopt SAGE equivalency models
·        Allow school districts to fund co-curricular activities using Fund 80
·        Provide a weighting factor for school enrollment in small school districts
·        Increase funding for bilingual-bicultural categorical aid or provide additional financial support for ELL students
·        Eliminate certain criteria for receiving sparsity aid
·        Providing grants or other funding to encourage virtual options for public schools
·        Create a loan forgiveness or grant program for rural teachers
·        Allow school boards to exempt the district from certain mandates
·        Provide state aid for youth options
 
“I would like thank the members of the task force for their hard work and dedication,” said Rep. Swearingen. “I have high hopes that the end result will produce positive legislation that will prove beneficial to rural Wisconsin.”
 
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