State treasurer presents $80K to Whitewater Schools


State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski explains to the Lake Elementary kids what the check is for and what it will be used for.

Dauntae Green, Managing Editor

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski visited Lakeview Elementary to present the Whitewater Unified School District (WUSD) with a record-breaking annual distribution of over $80,000 from the Common School Fund April 12. The event was also joined by Senator Janis Ringhand, Representative Don Vruwink, State Librarian Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, WUSD and community members. The Common School Fund is a source for revenue for school libraries and is the funding source for 90 percent of school libraries in Wisconsin.

“I had to invest this money to deliver for the school when I took over this job and joined the investment committee with some changes. I had to change it to invest money in Wisconsin communities. We invested in 300 communities with firefighters, parks, playgrounds, and we started investing in renewable energy to help the environment. We recently provided the biggest checks to this school for computers, hot spots, ebooks, and to make sure you guys have money to thrive,” said Godlewski. 

State Treasurer Godlewski serves on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) as chairperson and oversees the $1.3 billion Common School Fund. The school district will get $81,186 to focus on funding books and technology. 

Tessa Michaelson-Schmidt State Librarian explains how this check is important to the Lakeview Elementary

“For everybody in the state it is $40.6 million. We present this check to this school district with $81,000 to celebrate this month, which is National School Library Month and in a way honoring our constitution to invest in our school libraries to contribute to our learners,”  said Assistant State Superintendent for the Division for Libraries and Technology and State Librarian Tessa Michaelson Schmidt. “The Common School Fund is the only source of funding for our school libraries and school districts for what they bring to us. Thank you so much. It gives us resources, materials, technology and what we need to thrive. It is vital and important to academic access for you and your other students to make sure you are getting that access to those academic resources. The Department of Public Instruction is grateful for the BCPL’s wise stewardship of the Common School Fund, which provides these essential dollars to public school libraries across Wisconsin.”

The Common School Fund gives school libraries the opportunity to get funding for resources and materials that are needed. The earnings from the BCPL’s investment portfolio are given annually to every public school district in Wisconsin to enhance students’ learning and to help get access to books and technology to become successful.

“Whitewater Unified School District is excited for the opportunities that this $81,186 in literacy-focused funding from the Common School Fund and State Treasurer Godlewski will bring. This funding will support and cultivate students’ love of reading, and support increasing the use of technology in our District’s libraries. New digital platforms along with multimodal learning are daily occurrences in our libraries engaging our wide variety of learners.” said Whitewater Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Caroline Pate-Hefty. “Our community is ever-changing and it is our role as educators to meet those changes head-on and provide for our families. The Common School Funds provided by the State of Wisconsin help us provide these new and improved opportunities for all of our students.” 

Lakeview Elementary kids, the community leaders, WUSD, and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski get together for a photo with the $81,000 check