Wisconsin public schools to receive record donation from Common School Fund

Common School Fund donates $52 million to Wisconsin public schools
Common School Fund donates $52 million to Wisconsin public schools(Wisconsin State Treasurer)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:01 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - Sarah Godlewski, Chair of the BCPL and State Treasurer, announced today that a record $52 million will be distributed to public schools across Wisconsin.

This number represents a notable 27% increase from the 2022 distribution. The funds will be used by librarians and media specialists to expand opportunities for students by purchasing new technology and educational materials.

“Despite economic hardship, we built a resilient Common School Fund that will make a difference for years to come. As Chair, I am proud of our work to diversify our investments and prioritize Wisconsin communities which has led to a record-breaking distribution to our public schools. We know when our schools do well, our communities do well, and this $52 million will help ensure our schools continue to thrive,” said Treasurer Godlewski.

Joining Treasurer Godlewski in announcing the distribution at the press conference was State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly, WEMTA President Tina Birkett, and American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas. Also joining in the announcement were public school librarians, and representatives from the Wisconsin Education Association Council and the Wisconsin Public Education Network.

“School libraries have always been important to me. I always felt at home in my school library. From the time I was a middle school student as a library helper, to the time I spent with my friends and teachers after the high school day working on my forensics assignments. I am who I am today literally because of my school library. The Common School Fund provides critical funding to our public school libraries and allows amazing librarians to make great books and engaging programming available to students,” said Dr. Underly. “I’m so grateful to the BCPL for their work, and I’m excited to see the creative and innovative ways our schools put this funding to good use.”

“We are grateful for the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands’ commitment to our public school libraries. The funding provided by the Common School Fund ensures that Wisconsin school librarians and media specialists can provide the resources necessary to deepen student learning, strengthen reading comprehension and foster information and digital literacy,” said Birkett.

Since Treasurer Godlewski was elected Chair in 2019, the fund has provided a total of nearly $160 million in distributions. These funds are essential to public schools as this funding is often the sole source for public school libraries and media centers.