A majority of the state’s public school districts will receive more state general aid in the coming school year than they did the prior year, the latest state estimates show.
Of Wisconsin’s 424 school districts, 61 percent — or 260 — are projected to receive more aid in the 2016-17 school year, the state Department of Public Instruction said Friday.
The picture was mixed in Chippewa County. Gaining state aid were Bloomer at 8.1 percent, Chippewa Falls at 2.4 percent and Stanley-Boyd at .1. Losing aid were Lake Holcombe and New Auburn, both with a decrease of 14.8 percent, Cadott with a minus 6.1 percent and Cornell with a decrease of 0.2 percent.
While Friday’s estimate is good news, it does not mean districts suddenly have more money to spend. That’s because there’s a limit on the amount of revenue a district can raise, regardless of whether it comes from property taxes or state aid.
DPI is required by state law to publish estimates of general aid levels for school districts on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. Final aid numbers arrive in October.
In a press release, DPI officials noted that the state’s biennial budget increased state general aid to school districts by $108.1 million for the 2016-17 school year. The prior year, a majority of Wisconsin school districts — 55 percent — saw a drop in state aid.