About half of Wisconsin’s 424 public school districts will get more general state aid than a year ago. Figures released Wednesday by the Department of Public Instruction show schools will share almost $4.5 billion in general state aid, an increase of 2.1 percent from last year.
Most of the state’s largest districts will see increases, with Milwaukee Public Schools up just under one percent and Madison up four percent. The Minong Northwood district is getting the largest decrease in aid, at almost 30.5 percent.
Independent charter and private voucher schools are also getting a bigger piece of the pie. The state budget approved by majority Republicans increases tax-funded vouchers for low-income kids by $768 per student in K-8th grades. Each high school voucher student is worth $1,400 more. Milwaukee’s voucher aid is about $61 million, which otherwise would have gone to the city’s public schools. Pewaukee is getting the biggest percentage aid increase, up 150 percent to about $3.3 million. It’s due to a six percent jump in enrollment and declines in the district’s property values.