While the majority of Wisconsin school district’s are estimated to receive an increase in state aid for the 2020-2021 academic year, the Marshall and Waterloo districts are among the 114 seeing aid decrease. A release from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction on July 1 released its estimates of general school aid.
Overall, 72% of the state’s school districts are anticipated to see an increase in state aid. Estimated aids for the 2020-21 year total $4.9 billion, representing a $163.5 million increase — or 3.5% increase — over last year. Due to changes in aid deductions for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and the Milwaukee-area legacy independent charter schools, the estimated increase in payments to districts is $160.8 million.
The estimates show Marshall’s state aid as $7,914,659, a 0.71% decrease or $56,268 less than the 2019-2020 general aid amount.
Waterloo’s state aid estimate for 2020-2021 is $5,420,300, a 1.29% decrease or $71,016 less than the recently concluded academic year.
Other area school districts aid estimates for the 2020-21 school year are:
• Cambridge — $4,030,778 (7.16% increase)
• Columbus — $7,332,819 (4.51% increase)
• Deerfield — $4,907,616 (0.38% increase)
• Johnson Creek — $4,845,533 (3.97% increase)
• Lake Mills — $8,878,950 (6.47% increase)
The district estimated to receive the most is the Milwaukee Public Schools at $561,916,749 (a 2% increase). It’s one of four districts receiving more than $100,000,000 — Green Bay Area ($169,696,315), Kenosha ($147,734,364) and Racine ($156,903,908).
A district’s general aids can increase or decrease due to changes in any of the three local factors comprising Wisconsin’s general equalization aid formula — property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs — as well as a difference in funds available from the state.
General school aids are the largest form of state support for public schools in Wisconsin. State statutes require the department to publish estimated aid amounts by July 1 each year. The estimate is based on the most recent 2019-20 budget data reported by school districts to the DPI, as well as the level of funding approved in the 2019-2021 state biennial budget.
Estimated amounts are subject to change because they are based on budgeted, not audited, school district data. On Oct. 15, the DPI will certify amounts for 2020-21 general school aids based on audited data and the state’s appropriation.
District aid estimates can be found on the department’s School Financial Services website, in the general aids section. The department’s July 1 aid estimate does not include per pupil categorical aid, which will be based on student membership from the 2020-21, 2019-20, and 2018 19 school years (third Friday in September count). Per pupil aid will be paid in March 2021 — under the current law, it will be paid at $742 per pupil.