Mursau School Funding Increase Passes Legislature

Madison … The Wisconsin State Legislature passed a funding increase for rural schools by Representative Jeff Mursau (R – Crivitz) this week. The proposal will annually send 25% of US timber sales in the forest to area schools in 2014.

“I have been working all year to compensate our schools for over 1.5 million acres of federal forest that are unavailable to fund our schools,” Mursau said. “Timber sale income should help educate our kids, keep schools open, and keep families close to both their work and their kid’s schools.”

Under current law, Wisconsin sends national forest income to local townships. Under Mursau’s proposal, town governments will be held whole by a proportional increase in federal payments-in-lieu-of-taxes on a per acre basis. In addition, the State budget increases funding for public schools with an additional $300 per student as well as a funding increase for rural school bussing aid.

“The State will provide schools an extra $10 million for school districts with long bus routes,” Mursau said. “We need to make sure schools can afford to get kids to school at the same time they face increasing gasoline prices.”

Governor Walker is expected to finalize his deliberations by the end of June. Mursau will urge Governor Walker to sign the education funds into law.

School District Name

Federal Forest Acreage

Estimated Annual Payment

Crandon

172,324

 $352,400

Florence County

85,175

 $137,700

Goodman-Armstrong Creek

8,558

 $17,500

Lac Du Flambeau #1

6,487

 $9,700

Laona

65,462

 $133,700

Northland Pines

10,128

 $16,000

Phelps

37,950

 $60,000

Suring Public

82,648

 $132,000

Three Lakes

17,277

 $27,100

Wabeno Area

147,073

 $276,400

White Lake

37,378

 $70,800

Source: Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau