September 16, 2014

Report shows school district revenues dropped

Almost 50 Wisconsin school districts are getting less in revenues than they did 10 years ago, and two-thirds of those systems are in Republican Senate districts. That’s according to a new analysis from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, which found that 49 of the state’s 424 school district had lower revenues in 2013 than in 2003.

WISTAX says that could explain why several Republican state senators have indicated opposition to the governor’s plan to freeze state school aid in the next budget. The Alliance says most of the 18 Republican senators represent school districts that have had either small growth or declines in their state-mandated revenue limits over the last decade.

Governor Scott Walker’s budget would give property taxpayers an amount equal to one percent of school aid, and those taxpayers can decide through referendums whether to give the money to the schools. But Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) is among those critical of a freeze in school aid. He and Senate Education Chair Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) have proposed a slight increase, which would also include a small jump in property taxes.