Friday, July 1, 2022
DPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today, as required by state law, released an estimate of the general school aids each public school district will receive for the 2022-23 school year. The estimate is based on budgeted dollars submitted by school districts. This estimate allows school districts to develop the 2022-23 school year budget. The DPI will certify general school aid amounts based on audited data in October 2022.
Estimated general school aids for 2022-23 total $5.2 billion, representing an increase of 3.7 percent from last year. Districts were not provided with an allowable increase to their revenue limits, meaning any new aid they receive is required to offset property taxes. Payments to districts will increase an estimated $195.5 million because of two factors: 1) an increase of $188 million per the state budget; and 2) the decrease in the required Milwaukee Public Schools funding for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.
Of the state’s 421 school districts, 68.9 percent (290 districts) are estimated to receive more general aids than in 2021-22, while 29.9 percent of districts (126) are estimated to receive less; five districts are estimated to have no change in aid between the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years. Notably, 56 districts are estimated to receive the maximum 15 percent decrease under the state’s hold harmless aid provision, 12 fewer than last year. A district's general aids can increase or decrease due to changes in any of the three local factors comprising Wisconsin's general equalization aid formula — property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs — as well as a difference in funds available from the state.
While school districts received a significant investment from various federal stimulus efforts, these federal funds have a spending deadline and will not renew after 2024. Facing the absence of a state commitment of new spending through revenue limit growth, districts looking to invest their federal dollars in programming for learners will continue to struggle with how to plan for a fiscal cliff scenario in the 2024-25 school year.
General school aids are the largest form of state support for Wisconsin public schools, offsetting local property taxes under state-imposed revenue limits. Wisconsin statutes require the department to publish estimated aid amounts by July 1 each year. The estimate is based on the most recent 2021-22 budget and pupil count data reported by school districts to DPI. On October 15, 2022, DPI will certify amounts for 2022-23 general school aids based on audited data.
District aid estimates can be found on the department’s School Financial Services website, in the general aids section. Estimates are available as “Summary by Alphabet” and “Summary by Percent.” The department’s July 1 aid estimate does not include per pupil categorical aid, which will be based on student membership from the 2022-23, 2021-22, and 2020-21 school years (third Friday in September count). Per pupil aid will be paid in March 2023; under current law, it will be paid at $742 per pupil.