By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – State Rep. John Nygren’s efforts to reform school funding were recognized Monday, May 7, by the Howard-Suamico school board.
Nygren, who co-chairs the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee and represents the 89th Assembly District, which includes a portion of the Howard-Suamico School District, sponsored Assembly Bill 835 with the legislation enacted into law this year to increase the low revenue ceiling per student from $9,100 to $9,400 in the 2018-19 school year.
“Your recent school finance reform efforts, as evidenced by Assembly Bill 835, helped to alleviate the current funding gap for low revenue school districts like Howard-Suamico,” said Teresa Ford, board president, who read from a resolution on behalf of the board members. “This legislation is the first in 25 years that meaningfully promotes equity and access.”
Nygren said he “was probably born to do this” because all the school districts he represents in the Assembly are low revenue.
“If I didn’t take that challenge, the drive to get something done, it would have been a missed opportunity,” he said.
Nygren said the legislation is “not a complete solution, but as you said, it’s the most significant change in the funding formula in 25 years.”
“It wouldn’t have been accomplished without the efforts of many people in this room, so thank you,” he said.
Nygren wasn’t the only one honored by the board with a resolution.
Third-grade teacher April White was recognized as being one of this year’s recipients of the Golden Apple Awards in northeast Wisconsin.
“April White’s professional dedication imparts knowledge to her students and motivates them toward excellence,” Ford said while reading the resolution honoring White. “Your performance inspires us all to strive for excellence in overcoming the challenges we face and to enjoy the rewards of influencing the next generation of leaders.”
White said the school district “allows our teachers to use their professionalism as educators to think outside the box.”
“You allow us to push limits,” she said “I think that I see us growing even more in that way where you are looking for our feedback in our strategic planning and what we can do to improve our district, and I think that makes all of us within the district stronger.”
District staff members in general were also recognized with a resolution acknowledging May 7-11 as Staff Appreciation Week.