Blue Ribbon Commission Meets In Tomahawk Today

May 7, 2018

Credit Wikimedia.org Amichaelr07

A Northwoods resident has been invited to speak later today at the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding. The Commission has made Tomahawk one of the stops on it's tour around the state.

The Commission was put together to see what can be done to change the state's controversial and hotly debated school funding formula. The formula was adopted decades ago to provide adequate funding to school districts. Over time, rural districts with declining populations found they were getting less money, yet still required to provide comparable offerings to their more well-off suburban school districts. Representative Joel Kitchens and Senator Luther Olson chair the Commission.

Don Sidlowski of Three Lakes has been a leader in broadband funding and the beginning of K-12 Fab Labs in Wisconsin. He was invited to speak to the Commission....

"....I'm going to talk about how Fab Labs in the K-12 have affected the schools in terms of their relationship with industry. I think the members of the Commission are interested in knowing whether industry and private sector funding are sustainable and what my perspectives on that would be...."

Sidlowski says schools with Fab Labs have seen increased graduation rates, some getting jobs straight out of high school.  He says the labs are required to form industry advisory councils who often help the labs with money for the programs

The Commission is meeting at 1:00 pm. at Tomahawk Elementary School auditorium on East King Rd at 1:00 p.m. Invited speakers will talk first, then members of the public will be invited to speak until it concludes at 5:00 p.m.