MADISON, Wis. — Funding for high-cost and long-distance pupil transportation would be increased under a plan by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to provide more resources for rural schools.

The plan is part of Walker’s 2015-17 state budget proposal. The provisions for pupil transportation include:

• Increasing funding for the high-cost pupil transportation categorical aid program by $5 million over the two-year period.

• Raising the pupil transportation aid reimbursement rate from $275 to $300 per student for districts transporting students more than 12 miles.

Also under Walker’s plan, funding for the Sparsity Aid Program, which is for small, sparsely populated school districts, would be increased by $8.4 million over the two-year period.

Another proposed initiative aims to raise efficiency by allowing districts to enter into whole grade sharing agreements and to consolidate individual grades offered at multiple school sites into one educational program for the grade.

“Our investments in rural initiatives are aimed at improving the lives of the people who live in all corners of the state,” Walker said. “By investing in areas including education, transportation and technology, we are helping to build a better Wisconsin and more prosperity for future generations.”

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