October 23, 2014

Many Wisconsin school districts take a hit

About 64-percent of school districts in Wisconsin are getting less state aid this year. Many are seeing cuts as high as 15-percent, according to figures released Monday by the State Department of Public Instruction.

DPI spokesman John Johnson says it’s the result of state budget cuts that reduced available aid to schools, which is down seven percent from two years ago to $4.3 billion.

The funding schools receive is based on a formula that looks at student memberships, costs, and local property values. Johnson says there’s a fairly strong general consensus that the system is broken, since it relies so heavily on property wealth and fails to take into account local family income. He says that causes some areas with high property values, but higher concentrations of low-income residents, to suffer more.

Johnson says State Superintendent Tony Evers hopes to reintroduce a school funding reform plan to change that in the next state budget.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:14)