Northwoods Schools Get Welcomed Sparsity Aid
Small, sparsely populated school districts are receiving some badly needed payments from the state as part of what's called sparcity aid.
The Department of Public Instruction is sharing $25 million to 145 school districts, many in the Northwoods. While there has been a debate about the school funding formula, the legislature works around that by distributing the funds to smaller schools.
DPI spokesperson Tom McCarthy explains..
"....One of the big things is they lack economies of scale. As larger districts can handle busing costs or the cost of employing a teacher, our smaller districts if they lose a kid or if something happens to change their economy, they can't easily absorb that. This funding is designed to assist them with those unique needs...."
As an example, Chequamegon schools at Park Falls have only one student per square mile and face the same requirements as students in larger urban districts.
Among the districts in the Northwoods, Minocqua J1, Woodruff J1, Elcho,Goodman-Armstrong Creek, Hurley, Lac du Flambeau, Laona, Mercer, North Lakeland, Phelps, Prentice, Three Lakes, Wabeno and White Lake picked up their portion of the money.
Lakeland Union High School had the most in the area at $263,000.