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Six districts receive state aid
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MONROE - Six area rural school districts will receive aid for the upcoming school year, according to a press release from the State Department of Public Instruction.

Juda Superintendent Gary Scheuerell said his district would welcome the money.

"It's a big shot in the arm for us," he said. "We were happy to find out we were going to get the money."

Scheuerell said the district would use the money for supplies or equipment to help enhance the district's curriculum.

The six school districts receiving aid, according to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), are:

• Albany, $127,001

• Argyle, $96,870

• Black Hawk, $119,679

• Juda, $78,284

• Monticello, $112,358

• Pecatonica, $129,535

According to the DPI, each school district must enroll no more than 725 students; have fewer than 10 students per square mile; and have no more than 20 percent of its students qualified for free or reduced-price school meals.

A total of $14.9 million will be given to 123 districts in the state. The money was put aside by the state Legislature in the 2009-11 state budget to help small districts.

Rural school districts face several challenges, State Superintendent Tony Evers said in the DPI press release.

"Rural districts experience declining enrollment, rapidly rising property values, low median income and higher transportation costs than other districts," he said.

Smaller districts can find it difficult to provide the education and skills students need to graduate ready for the workforce or for further education, Evers said.