Assembly Passes Marklein's Rural School Funding Bill 91-2
Legislation now moves to the State Senate
MADISON – State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) celebrated the nearly unanimous, bi-partisan passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 835 by the Wisconsin State Assembly today. Sen. Marklein is the Senate author of this legislation. AB 835 increases sparsity aid funding for rural schools and increases the revenue limit ceiling for low spending school districts with an amendment to enable the Darlington School District to benefit from the legislation.
AB 835 and Senate Bill (SB) 690 were introduced on January 10, 2018 with strong support in both houses of the legislature. The Senate version passed the Joint Finance Committee on February 8, 2018. It is coauthored by Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette). Governor Scott Walker has also championed the legislation.
The bill will increase sparsity aid from $300 to $400 per pupil for the 2018-19 school year, an estimated $6 million boost for rural schools. In addition, this proposal also increases the low revenue ceiling from $9,100 to $9,400 for the 2018-19 school year, with the low revenue ceiling rising by $100 per year thereafter up to $9,800 by the 2022-23 school year. School districts who have had a failed referendum within the last three years would be ineligible for the low revenue ceiling increase.
“It has been a good week for rural schools!” Marklein said. “SB 690 passed the Joint Finance Committee only a couple of days ago and now it has been nearly unanimously approved by the Assembly today! I am confident that the Senate will pass the bill next week. This is a major win for the children of Wisconsin!”
Sen. Marklein has consistently championed increases to the sparsity aid program, as well as increased funding for K-12 public education overall. He spoke out against making changes to the Governor’s increase for sparsity aid during the budget process and introduced legislation to restore these changes in October. SB 690 has a similar impact on school districts throughout the state with new benefits for low-spending school districts.
“Sparsity Aid is an important funding program that helps 22 of the 33 school districts in the 17th Senate District with fewer than 745 students and less than 10 pupils per square mile. The change to the low revenue ceiling will impact six school districts in the 17th Senate District as well, including one district that does not qualify for sparsity aid,” Marklein said.
“SB 690 enhances the historic $11.5 billion investment in K-12 funding in the biennial budget by providing additional support for rural schools,” Marklein said. “I am proud to champion good policy on behalf of the school districts I serve.”