School Funding
4:19 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Budget Proposal Diverts Timber Money to K-12 Schools

Some Northwoods school districts could be getting a financial boost next year, thanks to a proposal included the state budget.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest spans over 1.5 million acres in northern Wisconsin.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest spans over 1.5 million acres in northern Wisconsin.
Credit US Forest Service

The version of the budget passed by the joint finance committee would send 25 percent of timber sales from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to local schools.  School districts would receive different amounts based on how much forest acreage falls within their district.  Republican State Representative Rob Swearingin describes the proposal as a shot in the arm for rural schools.

“The estimated annual payment to some of these school districts I think is just huge.  And I’m just happy that I could play a small part with pushing this process along, with Representative Mursau.”

Swearingin says he doesn’t expect significant opposition to the proposal.  The money adds up to almost $2.5 million each year, spread out over more than two dozen districts.  Crandon Schools would net the highest payment, at over $350,000.