Sparsity aid is an attempt to level the playing field for rural school districts This has been instituted in many states that have this issue of unfair distribution of state aid as it applies to rural schools. Such expenses as transportation over long distances and staffing of small classes are unduly costly for rural schools.
Two years ago, Michael Buoniconti, Superintendent of the Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont School Districts, brought superintendents from many regional districts together to address this inequity and push for sparsity aid for rural districts. In a public session, Buoniconti presented graphs and statistics which proved out this inequity.
Now, Senators Hinds, Gobi, Cyr, and Humason have proposed a sparsity aid package as amendments to the FY ‘19 Senate Budget. Amendments #317 and #318 would establish sparsity aid (#317) and funding at $3 million would be provided (#318). You can track the amendments throughout the Senate budget process, here: ?https://malegislature.gov/Budget/SenateDebate