The majority of Wisconsin public school districts will see less money in state aid this year, though two Chippewa County schools will see an aid increase.

The state Department of Public Instruction said Monday that 64 percent of districts, or 272 out of 424, will get less money than they did last school year.

Even though state aid increased by about $32 million, the amount public schools will get will decrease over the prior year after about $158 million is directed toward private school choice programs in Milwaukee and Racine.

School aid is based on student enrollment levels, costs and property values. Aid is generally reduced for schools with higher property values and per-pupil costs, and fewer students.  

The state's student population declined 0.2 percent last year.

Bloomer and Stanley-Boyd each received more state aid for their 2012-13 budgets. Bloomer’s aid will increase to $7.07 million, a change of 3.0 percent from last year, and Stanley-Boyd will receive $6.36 million, an increase of 2.6 percent.

Other Chippewa County schools will see a decrease in state aid. Chippewa Falls will get about $27.14 million, down $221,000 from last year.

Cornell’s aid will dip 6.5 percent to around $3.04 million, and Cadott will lose about $35,600 from last year to receive $5.42 million.

Lake Holcombe and New Auburn were the hardest hit by aid cuts, both dropping 15.1 percent (the state’s maximum cut). Lake Holcombe is scheduled for about $540,000 for its 2012-13 budget, and New Auburn about $574,000.

Superintendents of both school districts have previously told the Herald they anticipated this year’s lower state aid.

The nearly $4.3 billion spent on statewide school aid this year is down more than 7 percent from what schools received two years ago.

For school budgets, the two main funding components are state aid and property tax revenues. Higher property value districts receive less aid and have higher taxes, poorer districts have more aid to keep taxes lower.

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