(CRIVITZ, WI)–State Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) is the recipient of the 2017 “Friend of Education” award from the Fair Aid Coalition in recognition of his leadership to ensure fair funding for area school districts.“Rep. Mursau, as a respected member of the Wisconsin legislature, has helped to bring attention to the unique needs and challenges of small, lake area school districts in northern Wisconsin,” said Ben Niehaus, president of the Fair Aid Coalition and administrator of the School District of Florence County. Niehaus said that the coalition is especially grateful for Rep. Mursau’s efforts to ensure that high property value school districts in northern Wisconsin receive at least $1000 per pupil in state school aid.Rep. Mursau, along with Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazlehurst), is leading the effort to add a provision to the 2017-19 state Budget to establish a $1000 per pupil “floor” in the state school aid formula.Niehaus explained that of the $6.458 billion the state will spend on K-12 education in 2016-17, roughly 70 percent, or $4.5 billion, is distributed through a school aid formula that only uses property to measure “wealth.” As a result, he said, some 60 rural, lake area and suburban school districts with high property values per pupil receive little or no state general aid (equalization aid/special adjustment aid), regardless of their community’s ability to pay. In the 2016-17 school year, 14 area school districts will receive less than $1000 per pupil in general aid, including Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine, Crivitz, Elcho, Lakeland UHS, Minocqua J1, North Lakeland, Northland Pines, Phelps, Suring, Three Lakes, Tomahawk, Wabeno, Wausaukee, and Woodruff J1. Other local districts at or near $1000 per pupil in general aid are Goodman-Armstrong, Florence, Rhinelander, and White Lake. The comparable statewide average per pupil general aid in 2016-17 is $5,116.According to Patrick Mans, administrator of the Crivitz School District, the $1000 per pupil minimum aid floor would address the continual loss of state general aid that is placing an unfair burden on local property taxpayers. “The needs of small, rural school districts are front and center thanks to the strong leadership of our local legislators, and this is another strong example of the good work that is being done on behalf of our students and taxpayers,” he said. Rep. Mursau will be recognized at the February 15th meeting of the Crivitz School Board.