Lakeland Union High School will receive special state aid intended for rural school districts.
The aid is noteworthy because it is the first time the school – the largest district in square miles in the state – has qualified for the money, according to District Administrator Todd Kleinhans.
But the news is a double-edged sword: The reason the district qualified for the state aid is because of declining enrollment.
Districts eligible to receive the money, called sparsity aid, must have fewer than 725 students. This past school year was the first time that happened since the aid became available.
LUHS met the other requirements of the aid program: At least 20 percent of students are on free and reduced lunches, and there are far fewer than six students per square mile (0.96 students per square mile to be exact).
The district will receive about $163,000 this fall.
“That’s really great news for Lakeland Union High School, and really well deserved,” Kleinhans said.
Area elementary schools have received sparsity aid for years.
Jonathan Anderson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.