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State aid numbers released to help with school funding

State aid numbers released to help with school funding State aid numbers released to help with school funding

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has posted information that supports school districts, as they plan for state general school aids they will receive during the current school year. The information includes certified general school aid amounts for each school district, as well as 201920 student enrollment numbers for independent charter schools, and private schools participating in state parental choice programs.

Aid varies widely by district based on the equalization formula. Of 421 districts, 247 will receive more aid than last year (59 percent); 169 will receive less (40 percent).

For Cadott Community School, they will receive $422,299 in general aid for this year, a 7 percent increase. Cornell also sees a 7 percent jump, with $192,131.

However, Lake Holcombe is again on the decline for a 15 percent drop, receiving $30,599 less than last year.

The enrollments were used to determine amounts that will be deducted or withheld from school districts’ aid payments to fund the programs.

General school aids are the largest form of state support for 4K-12 schools in Wisconsin. The department is required by state law, to release the certified aid figures by Oct. 15 of each year.

The aid amounts are calculated using student counts and year-end financial data from the previous school year (2018-19). Preliminary aid estimates were released in July, using budgeted, not final, data. Independent charter and private school choice enrollment counts come from schools reporting the number of students enrolled on the third Friday in September.

Statewide, the majority of general school aids is equalization aid. Equalization aid is distributed according to a formula in state law, designed to help Wisconsin communities provide public education, despite local differences in property wealth.

The formula considers school district expenditures, property values and resident student counts (called “membership”). The 2019-21 state biennial budget, increased funding for equalization aid for the 2019-20 school year, by 1.8 percent ($83.2 million), to $4.74 billion.

The other, smaller elements of general school aids are integration aid (or “Chapter 220” aid) and special adjustment aid. The latter, also known as “hold harmless” aid, generally prevents districts from seeing more than a 15 percent reduction in aid from one year to the next.