Madison – Representative Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake) praised the plan Governor Scott Walker released today, focusing on budget priorities for rural schools.

“I believe this is a step in the right direction, and a win for the Rural Wisconsin Initiative,” said Rep. Quinn. “In the last budget, I added budget motions to protect consolidated school districts. Since then, the Rural Wisconsin Initiative has begun to bring the focus back to areas that are too often forgotten about in Madison. I applaud the Governor for bringing attention to the concerns of our local schools.”

The Governor’s proposal has called for increased funding for sparsity aid and the High-Cost Transportation Aid program, expanded opportunities for teacher training and recruitment, increased flexibility in staffing through sharing services, and increased funding for Fab Labs.

Rep. Quinn helped create the Rural Wisconsin Initiative in the last legislative session, noting that rural concerns were often overlooked in discussions of state policy. The initial RWI package included eight bills aimed at education, workforce development, health care, and technology access. Two bills, helping schools provide incentives for new teachers by forgiving some state loans and helping communities attract broadband internet infrastructure projects, were passed.

Rep. Quinn said he was eager to delve into the details of the package, which have not yet been released.

“We’ll need to dig into the funding mechanisms for these proposals in order to make sure they work for the 75th Assembly District,” he said. “The broad outlines look great, but we’ll need to do our due diligence.”

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