Common School Fund Distribution (Library Aid)
School districts receive an annual distribution of earnings from the Common School Fund. These funds (commonly known as Library Aid) are used to purchase library books and other instructional materials. The Common School Fund is the primary, and often only, source of funding for school libraries in Wisconsin. Managed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), the Common School Fund was established by the Wisconsin Constitution in 1848 with the granting of about 1.5 million acres of land for educational purposes. The vast majority of these lands were sold to create the principal for a permanent school fund, with the earnings to be exclusively used to support and maintain common schools (now known as K-12 public schools) and the purchase of suitable libraries and apparatus therefor. The Wisconsin Constitution also provided for growth of Common School Fund principal through the addition of clear proceeds of all fines, fees and forfeitures, including unclaimed property.
School districts receive an annual distribution of earnings from the Common School Fund. This distribution is based on the number of residents ages four to twenty and the district census count as of June 30 is reported annually.
In January, the BCPL provides an estimate of the funds available for distribution which is divided by the total census reported by all districts to determine the per child amount. Each district receives an allocation based on their reported resident census count and the per child amount. Final payment is made in April.
Eligible purchases and additional information can be found at the Division for Libraries and Technology Common School Fund Page.
If you have any questions regarding school library purchases that meet the requirements of the Common School Fund, see Purchasing Guidelines. If you have any questions regarding school library purchases that meet the requirements of the Common School Fund, contact the School Library Media Education Consultant Monica Treptow at (608) 575-6065. Additional information about BCPL and the Common School Fund may be found at bcpl.wisconsin.gov or https://dpi.wi.gov/common-school-fund.