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With Potential Budget Cuts Looming, Some Rural School Districts Strive To Keep Teachers

Bayfield School District Offering Supplemental Pay To Retain Teachers

Photo: Caitlinator

Financially strained rural school districts in Wisconsin are looking at ways to keep and attract teachers at a time when districts might see another $127 million cut in the next year.

Tony Evers, state superintendent, said he fears rural schools are losing talented teachers who have a heavier work load and are getting paid less than their counterparts at larger schools.

“If you can have more of a stable professional life plus earn more money, then that’s going to draw them out,” Evers said.

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David Aslyn, the superintendent for Bayfield School District, said their school board has approved supplemental pay to provide more competitive teacher salaries in a district of 415 students.

“That would be pay on top of the consumer price index increase that Act 10 allows for as a cap each year,” he said.

Aslyn said it’s an incentive to keep their 51 teachers or attract new hires.

Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal would fully fund sparsity aid and increase transportation aid for rural schools. Educators say that wouldn’t be enough to offset a cut of $150 per student in the next school year.