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About half of Wisconsin public school districts will receive more general aid in the 2018-19 school year than they did for the 2017-18 school year based on estimates released today by the Department of Public Instruction. The Westby Area School District who will receive more state aid for the 2018-19 school year. Westby is estimated to receive an additional $110,410 or an increase of 1.38 percent. Last year the Westby Area School District received a total of $8,010,155 in state aid, with an estimated $8,120,565 projected for the 2018-19 school year.

Available general aid totals $4.656 billion, which is a $72.75 million (1.6 percent) increase in general aid compared to last year. Due to changes in aid deductions from Milwaukee Public Schools for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the actual increase in general aid will be $74.8 million. Of the state’s 422 school districts, 56 percent (235) are estimated to receive more general aid in 2018-19, while 43 percent of districts (183) are expected to receive less aid. The estimate shows four districts will have no change in the aid between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 fiscal years. Though their aid is estimated separately, effective July 1, the Friess Lake and Richfield J1 school districts will consolidate as the Holy Hill Area School District, bringing the number of school districts in the state to 421.

Factors that comprise the general equalization aid formula — property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs — impact whether general aid for a district increases or decreases.

Other area school districts receiving an increase in state aid include Viroqua (up 6.20 percent $415,877); La Farge (up 1.52 percent $24,883); Kickapoo (up 4.67 percent $144,339); and North Crawford (up 6.92 percent $204,560). The Cashton School District is seeing a decrease in its state aid of $87,024 (down 2.05 percent). Statewide district aid estimates can be found on the department’s School Financial Services website. Estimates are available as “Summary by Alphabet” and “Summary by Percent.”

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 Oct. 15, the department will certify state general aid amounts for 2018-19 based on audited 2017-18 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 a rolling average of student membership from the 2018-19, 2017-18, and 2016-17, school years (third Friday in September count). That aid of $654 per pupil will be paid in March 2019.

Additional information about general and categorical school aids can be found on the Department of Public Instruction’s School Financial Services website at https://dpi.wi.gov/sfs/. For lists of school district aid estimates, go to the general aid section: https://dpi.wi.gov/sfs/aid/general/summary. This news release is available electronically at https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/news-release/dpinr2018-64.pdf.

***Dorothy Robson can be reached at dorothy.robson@lee.net or (608) 606-0811.

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Westby Times editor

Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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