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Rhinelander residents to meet next week about school funding

RHINELANDER, WI (WXPR) -  Rhinelander school district officials have called a meeting for next Wednesday to see if the public can help get the school funding formula changed.

The state uses the formula to determine how much aid public schools receive. Schools in rural areas have seen a steep drop in aid while still being required to meet state and federal mandates. Incoming district Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the current formula isn't working for districts with high property values and also high poverty levels. She says during the lead up to the referendum vote in February, they heard from voters.  "One of the things that we heard frequently was, what can we do?  Either we can't just say yes we'll support a referendum, which was wonderful and we were so thrilled to have all of that community support, but can't we do more, so we worked on what our community was asking us to put together."

Jacobi says a group traveled to Madison to meet with officials about the funding problem. She says fixing the problem is something that can't be done quickly, but some short-term help could be available.  "One of those things that was most recent is finding out that there is additional state revenue that was not expected, so we're hoping that our legislators look at that additional funding and what they can do to help public education."The meeting is set for Wednesday, May 22 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. at James Williams Middle School.