Series: Challenges To Wisconsin's Rural Schools

As students returned to classes around Wisconsin, uncertainty among school districts that rely on state funding lasted right up through the end of the Legislature's much-prolonged biennial budget process.
Schools in rural areas of Wisconsin with decreasing populations also face a decline in student enrollment, a trend causing budget anxieties for district administrators.
The amount of money a school district in Wisconsin receives from the state in a given year depends on a series of funding equations that factor in enrollment, student poverty, local property values, transportation needs and other criteria.
School districts in western Wisconsin, along with their counterparts across the state, are increasingly finding it hard to recruit and retain teachers.
With the state cutting aid to public schools and capping how much money they can raise through tax increases without voters' approval, school districts around Wisconsin have been seeking more funding through local referendums, especially those in rural areas.
Wisconsin's rural school districts are increasingly relying on asking voters directly for money in response to the decreasing amount they're receiving in state funding over the past half decade.
School districts across Wisconsin started the 2016-17 school year with unfilled vacancies for teaching jobs.