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Antigo will host rural school hearing
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The future of rural schools—a critical issue in the sprawling and sparsely populated northwoods—will be discussed at a series of tours and hearings in Antigo and Elcho on Wednesday.

The Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Rural Schools, chaired by 34th District Assemblyman Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander, will tour the Elcho and Antigo school districts as well as take comments at a public hearing.

The day will open at 10 a.m. at Elcho, when the committee—which also includes 35th District Rep. Mary Czaja of Irma and 36th District Rep. Jeff Mursau of Crivitz—will tour the school with District Administrator Bill Fisher.

At 12:30 p.m. the group is scheduled for a similar tour of Antigo High School, led by Principal Tom Zamzow.

At 1:30 p.m. the schedule will get more formal, with the convening of a public hearing slated for the media tech room located on the second floor of the high school’s academic wing. It is expected to last until 4:30 p.m.

Invited speakers include Fisher, who served as superintendent for both the Elcho and White Lake school district; and Walter Leipart, Merrill school district administrator.

Also scheduled to present remarks are Karen Wendorf-Heldt, administrator for the Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 9, headquartered in Tomahawk; and Dawn Nordine, executive director for Wisconsin Virtual Schools.

The second portion of the hearing will be open for public testimony. Teachers, parents and local taxpayers are all invited to attend.

Those unable to attend the hearing may send input and suggestions to Czaja’s office at rep. czaja@legis.wi.gov.

In addition to Swearingen, Czaja and Mursau, who are all Republicans, the task force includes Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva), Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg), Rep. Mary Williams (R-Medford), Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), Rep. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater), Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau), Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains) and Rep. Mandy Wright (D-Wausau). Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) is the vice-chair.


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Mail to: Fred Berner
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