School book and apple

About 59% of Wisconsin school districts are estimated to receive more money next year from the state’s largest source of education funding.

The Department of Public Instruction released Monday the annual estimates on how much state general aid each of the 421 school districts will receive for the 2019-20 school year, with 248 expected to receive more, 168 to get less and five to see no change.

As expected, the Madison School District is estimated to lose $6.6 million, or 15.11%, in state general aid.

State general aid is calculated under an equalization formula that is meant to level out more property-wealthy districts with those that have less of an ability to levy property taxes.

State law does not allow a district to lose more than 15% in general aid in a given year. The additional 0.11% reduction represents equalization aid that by Wisconsin law is deducted from all school districts in the state to support independent charter schools in Milwaukee, said Benson Gardner, a spokesman for DPI.

When crafting the $463 million preliminary budget for Madison schools, district officials assumed and factored in a maximum loss of 15%.

The estimates from DPI are based on the budget passed by the Republican-controlled state Legislature that includes $4.7 billion in general aid for 2019-20, an increase of $83 million.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has until Friday to decide whether to sign, veto or veto in part the budget, had sought $205 million more in state general aid next school year, along with changes to the equalization formula that would provide $3,000 per student and take into account poverty.

The estimated amounts of state general aid in 2019-20 and percent change from 2018-19 for Dane County school districts:

  • Belleville — $5.3 million, -0.04%
  • Cambridge — $3.8 million, 4.87%
  • Deerfield — $4.9 million, 3.38%
  • DeForest — $16 million, 2.15%
  • Madison — $36.8 million, -15.11%
  • Marshall — $8.1 million, -1.8%
  • McFarland — $12.4 million, 10.63%
  • Middleton-Cross Plains — $17.5 million, 12.59%
  • Monona Grove — $14 million, 5.45%
  • Mount Horeb — $13.3 million, -0.01%
  • Oregon — $20.7 million, 1.15%
  • Stoughton — $11.7 million, -12.26%
  • Sun Prairie — $47.9 million, 0.06%
  • Verona — $16.6 million, -3.36%
  • Waunakee — $20.7 million, 2.47%
  • Wisconsin Heights — $1.6 million, -12.17%

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a correction. The original misstated what part of the estimated 15.11% reduction to the Madison School District's general aid is slated to fund. The district is deducted 0.11% in equalization aid under state law that has all school districts support independent charter schools in Milwaukee.]

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

Subscribe to our Politics email!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.