The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has announced that 141 small rural school districts across the state will share in $17.7 million in sparsity aid for general school operations.
From DPI’s press release: For the 2016-17 school year, 141 districts qualified for sparsity aid based on enrollments of 745 or fewer students and membership of less than 10 pupils per square mile of the district’s geographic area. Four school districts will receive aid in the coming school year that didn’t qualify last school year: Boyceville Community, Chequamegon, Montello, and Shiocton. Two districts — Erin and Spring Valley — received aid in the 2015-16 school year, but were not eligible for the coming school year.
Sparsity aid is computed on prior year membership and paid at $300 per member. Combined, the eligible school districts had pupil membership of 60,702, which is about 7 percent of Wisconsin’s total public school membership for the 2015-16 school year. Because district eligibility for aid for the 2016-17 school year exceeds the aid allocation from the 2015-17 state budget, each district will receive $291.16 per student, or 97.05 percent of eligible aid.