Public school districts throughout the state will share $37.7 million in library aid, which will be paid April 25 from the Common School Fund, the only state funding specifically designated for the purchase of materials for school libraries.
Aid is based on the number of children between the ages of 4 and 20 living in each of the state’s 424 school districts. This year’s school library aid payment will be $31.78 (rounded) per child for 1,186,272 children counted in the 2014‑15 school census. Funding is up $2.2 million from last year. The per child payment represents an increase of about $2.72 per child from the 2014‑15 school year.
Districts must use Common School Fund library aid by June 30 for the purchase of print, digital and technology resources that are housed with the school library program and accessible to all students in the school.
“Common School Fund aid is a major source, and sometimes the only source, of revenue for library services in our public schools,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “We depend on Wisconsin’s teacher librarians to advocate for strong public school library programs that can offer a broad range of resources to support student learning. We want our kids to be college and career ready and strong school libraries contribute to that effort.”
The Common School Fund was established by Article X of the Wisconsin Constitution as a permanent school trust fund. The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands manages the Common School Fund and the State Trust Fund Loan Program. Board members are the Secretary of State, Attorney General, and State Treasurer. Jonathan Barry serves as executive secretary to the board.