This Categorical Aid program was approved in a 2007-09 State Biennial Budget provision and allocates up to $35,000 annually to a district that transports pupils over ice. The 2007 Wisconsin Act 20 reads:
121.58 (2) (d) In addition to any other payments made under this section, the department shall allocate $35,000 annually to reimburse school districts for 75 percent of the costs incurred to transport pupils over ice from their residence on an island to school on the mainland and back to their residence on the island, including the costs of maintaining and storing equipment. If in any school year the amount to which school districts are entitled under this paragraph exceeds $35,000, the department shall prorate the payments among the eligible school districts.
Process to Receive Aid
To receive this categorical aid, a district submits to DPI a letter requesting payment along with verification of all costs, no later than the third Friday in May. The verification should include a copy of a dated invoice(s) and verification of payment by the district as well as a statement indicating that the costs are for transporting pupils per s. 121.58(2) (d), Wis. Stats. DPI then calculates and makes a payment of up to $35,000 for 75 percent of the documented costs.
Since the program was initiated in 2007-08, only one district has qualified for this aid. DPI makes this payment on the third Monday in June and provides coding instructions in a June letter of scheduled payments and adjustments.