MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today released information on fall student counts and school district revenue limits for the 2022-2023 school year.
The data published is unaudited and is based off enrollment counts performed on Sept. 16, 2022, the third Friday of September, and reported to the DPI. The student count data includes unduplicated(1) headcounts and full-time equivalent (FTE) membership used to calculate district revenue limits. Headcount is the number of students enrolled for instruction in a given school or district on the count date. Membership is a full-time equivalent value used for school finance purposes, where students in preschool special education, 4K, and part-time kindergarten are counted as less than 1.0 FTE. Membership for school districts reflects residency, not enrollment; a student in the open enrollment program is included in the headcount for the district they attend, but the membership for the district where they reside. District membership also includes an addition of summer school FTE.(2) A file with headcount data by school district and the membership data used in calculating school district revenue limits is available on the DPI’s website
Wisconsin’s total school district headcount for the third Friday of September 2022 was 807,657, a decline of 0.85 percent from September 2021. 4K and preschool special education headcounts declined 0.74 percent, and kindergarten headcount declined 1.87 percent.(3) First through 12th grades — where Wisconsin’s mandatory school attendance laws apply — declined 0.78 percent.
Independent charter schools reported a total third Friday of September 2022 headcount of 11,150, an increase of 4.5 percent from September 2021. The 4K/PK headcount was down by 0.1 percent and kindergarten was down by 2.9 percent, while first through 12th grades increased by 5.7 percent.
The state’s four private school parental choice programs(4) reported a combined third Friday of September 2022 headcount of 52,189. This was an increase of 6.7 percent over 2021. 4K headcount in the private school parental choice programs increased by 8.5 percent, kindergarten increased by 5.1 percent, and grades 1-12 were up by 6.8 percent.
School district membership data are used to determine revenue limits, which, in combination with the general school aids certified today, determine school boards’ maximum property tax levies. As part of the 2021-2023 biennial budget, Wisconsin school districts received no per-member increase in revenue limits for both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, and the per-member minimum for low-revenue districts remained at $10,000 per member. Students attending other school districts through open enrollment, independent charter schools, or private schools in parental choice programs can affect their resident school districts’ revenue limits and/or general state aids, but the specific details vary by student and program.(5)
Revenue limits are based upon a three-year “rolling” average of September membership, plus 40 percent of summer FTE, where last year’s average (2019-20 through 2021-22) is compared to this year’s (2020-21 through 2022-23). Revenue limit membership also includes students attending certain independent charter schools and the Wisconsin National Guard’s Challenge Academy at Fort McCoy.