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Categorical Aid

Wisconsin Categorical Aid Programs

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Categorical aid is state or federal aid that is intended to finance or reimburse some specific category or instructional or supporting program, or to aid a particular target group of pupils. The district may only use the aid for the purpose for which it was paid. Categorical aid can be contrasted with general aid in that districts are not restricted in their use of general aid.

Program Descriptions

The following links provide additional information on each aid program.

Aid to High Poverty Districts

Paid to school districts if at least 50 percent of the district's student enrollment on the third Friday in September satisfied the income eligibility criteria to be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (i.e., economically disadvantaged).

Categorical Aid Proration

Proration rate history for select Categorical Aid programs.

High Cost Pupil Transportation Aid

Provides additional funding to districts with higher per pupil transportation costs, as compared to the statewide average.

Per Pupil Aid

A flat per pupil aid paid to each school district. This revenue is outside of a district's revenue limit.

Pupil Transportation Aid

Aid paid for furnishing statutorily-required transportation services to public and private school pupils enrolled in regular education programs, including summer school.

SAGE-State Aid for Debt Service

Aid program for districts passing a referendum to address the additional bonding attributable to increased classroom space needs resulting from participation in the SAGE program.

Sparsity Aid

Aid provided to school districts meeting the following criteria: (a) school district membership in the prior year of less than 745 pupils; and (b) population density of less than 10 pupils per square mile of the district's area.

State Tuition

Aid program that reimburses the cost of educating children who live in properties for which there is no parental property tax base support.

Special Education Aid

State aid that reimburses a portion of the costs for educating and transporting pupils enrolled in special education.

Supplemental Aid for School Districts with Large Area

Paid to school districts satisfying the following criteria: (a) the school district had an enrollment of fewer than 500 pupils in the previous school year; (b) the school district is at least 200 square miles in area; and (c) at least 80% of the real property in the school district is exempt from property taxation, taxed as forest croplands, owned or held in trust by a federally recognized American Indian tribe, or owned by the federal government.

Transporting Students Over Ice

Aid paid to school districts reimbursing 75% of the cost of transporting pupils to and from an island over ice.

Wisconsin's Common School Fund Aid (Library Aid)

Provided to school districts for the purchase of library books, instructional materials from the Historical Society, and other instructional materials.

For questions about this information, contact dpifin@dpi.wi.gov (608) 267-9114