Local schools will receive more than $500,000 for their libraries from the Common School Fund investments this year.
The fund is managed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, and money is given to school districts in Wisconsin for their libraries every year.
This year, Whitnall School District will receive $74,463; Greendale School District will receive $79,909; Franklin Public School District will receive $152,144; and the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District will receive $195,468.
According to a press release from the board, these endowments are a big part of school libraries' budgets, particularly for Whitnall.
"The Common School Funds make up the entire library budget in Whitnall School District, except for supplies," said Jodi Sabbar, the district's library media specialist. "This allows us to provide a variety of quality resources that are not only aligned with every subject and curriculum, but that are used to feed the personal interests and curiosities of our students. Hence, helping our students expand their learning beyond the walls of the classroom."
The funds can be used for a variety of library resources, from hard copy books or eBooks to library management software to other technology.
In Greendale schools, they've been able to put the funds toward creating a "Makers Space" in the library at the middle school.
This permanent endowment was created Wisconsin's 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.
The BCPL was established in 1848 to manage assets of the Common School Fund.