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Letter from Rep. Petryk: Transportation aid granted to Durand, Ellsworth and Plum City schools

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Letter from Rep. Petryk: Transportation aid granted to Durand, Ellsworth and Plum City schools
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Last week, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) awarded $5 million in high cost transportation aid for school districts across the state.  Here in our own 93rd Assembly District, three districts were awarded aid including Durand ($179,106), Ellsworth Community ($121,612), and Plum City ($1,091). 

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To qualify for aid from DPI, school districts must exceed 150 percent of the statewide average cost per member as outlined in the new high cost transportation categorical aid.  This aid was a bipartisan effort on behalf of Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and State Superintendent Tony Evers.  As the head of DPI, Evers recommended that this imperative categorical aid be included in the 2013-15 state budget.

Under the new aid, 128 districts received funding to offset their high transportation costs.  According to DPI, of those 128 districts, nine received over $100,000; thirty were awarded $50,000-$100,000; seventy-three were awarded $5,000-$50,000 and the remaining received less than $5,000.  I am proud to have supported this new categorical aid in the state’s biennial budget and I know that the funds will be put to great use by our responsible Administrators and School Boards here in our 93rd Assembly District. 

As a member of the Rural Schools Taskforce, I heard firsthand the challenging economic impact of shuttling our state’s students from rural portions of Wisconsin to their closest public school.  It is of the utmost importance that we support our rural schools in every way that we can to ensure their ability to offer quality education to our children.  It is easy to see that right in our own back yard, our rural 93rd Assembly District schools struggle to bus their students to and from their often remote rural locations.  I am very pleased the Durand, Ellsworth Community, and Plum City school districts will benefit from this crucial transportation money. 

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