If public school districts don't know how much state aid they will get in a new budget by mid-October some local property taxes could be going up.
The legislative budget conference committee members haven't even started thrashing out their differences on how much to give public schools. Meanwhile, school costs are going up including things like transportation, heating and any increases negotiated in contracts.
But Dan Rossmiller at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards says if schools are stuck with last year's funding levels property taxes will have to go up to make up the difference. Either that or districts will have to make the tough choice of cutting programs.
By law the Department of Public Instruction must inform districts of their funding level by October 15th. Once that's done the levels can't change. So if a budget passes with increased funding after the 15 th schools won't be able to get it. They're stuck for at least another year unless the law is changed.
Rossmiller says his Association will keep the heat on lawmakers and hopes school districts will also stay on them to get a budget done.