Wisconsin’s K-12 public school libraries will receive $32.1 million, thanks to earnings from the state’s Common School Fund. That was the word today from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. Commissioner Doug La Follette, Secretary of State, presented Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kurt Kiefer with a ceremonial check at a conference in Wisconsin Dells Monday.
“School librarians use the funds to provide myriad learning opportunities for students,” said Kim Bannigan, president of the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association. “It might be books, but it might also be technology. For many WEMTA members and public school libraries, the Common School Fund is the sole source of funding, so a chance to connect with those who make it possible is an essential part of our conference.”
The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands was established in 1848 by Article X of the Wisconsin Constitution to manage assets of the Common School Fund. This permanent endowment was created in the Constitution to benefit public education. The BCPL generates earnings for the Common School Fund by investing in state and municipal bonds and State Trust Funds that finance community projects across the state.
Board Chair Brad Schimel said, “BCPL investments provide support for community projects throughout Wisconsin including economic development, public infrastructure, school building and improvements, and the purchase of capital equipment and vehicles. Many of these expenditures provide law enforcement personnel and first responders with the equipment needed to keep their communities safe. Earnings from these investments continue to benefit public schools for many generations after the founding fathers of Wisconsin created this program.”
Submitted by Inese Christman.