Over half of Wisconsin school districts will receive less state aid next year under current budget proposal

From the Department of Public Instruction

More than half of Wisconsin public school districts will receive less general aid in the 2017-18 school year than they did for the 2016-17 school year, under the current state budget plan, according to estimates released Friday by the Department of Public Instruction.

Although the 2017-19 state budget has not been finalized, the current budget proposal maintains the same level of general school aid ($4.584 billion in 2017-18) as was appropriated in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Of the state’s 422 school districts, 55 percent (231) are estimated to receive less general aid in 2017-18, while 44 percent of districts (187) are expected to receive more aid.

The estimate shows four districts will have no change in the aid between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 fiscal years. With school aid being held at the same level as the prior year, other factors that comprise the general equalization aid formula — property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs — impact whether general aid for a district increases or decreases. District aid estimates can be found on the department’s School Financial Services website, https://dpi.wi.gov/sfs/aid/general/summary, both alphabetically and by percent change.

State statute requires the department to compute an estimate of the general school aid each public school district will receive for the coming school year by July 1. School personnel may use the estimate to complete their annual budgets and project changes in property tax levies. On October 15, the department will certify state general aid amounts for 2017-18 based on audited 2016-17 data. Estimated general aid to districts is subject to change.

The department’s July 1 aid estimate does not include per pupil categorical aid, which will be based on student membership from the 2017-18, 2016-17, and 2015-16 school years (third Friday in September count). That aid will be paid in March 2018 and is currently funded at $250 per pupil annually.