DPI: Tomahawk estimated to see $700,000.00 increase in general school aids

District’s projected 78% funding boost one of largest in state

For the Tomahawk Leader

TOMAHAWK – The School District of Tomahawk is estimated to receive more than $1.6 million in general school aids for the 2023-24 school year, an increase of about $700,000.00 (roughly 78%) from the previous school year.

The district’s projected boost in funding for next year is one of the largest in the state, according to data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

DPI, on Friday, June 30, released an estimate of the general school aids each public school district will receive.

A release from DPI said 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 DPI to publish estimated aid amounts by July 1 each year.

The current estimate is based on the biennial budget as passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature and pupil count data reported by school districts to the DPI.

DPI noted that at the time the estimated amounts were released, the state’s 2023-25 biennial budget had not yet been finalized, meaning the estimated amounts are subject to change by the time DPI certifies general school aids for 2023-24 based on audited data by Sunday, Oct. 15.

Estimated general school aids for 2023-24 total $5.36 billion, representing an increase of 3% from last year, according to DPI.

“Payments to districts will increase an estimated $160.5 million because of two factors: 1) an increase of $154.7 million per the state budget as passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature; and 2) the decrease in the required Milwaukee Public Schools funding for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program,” DPI stated.

According to DPI, of the state’s 421 school districts, 251 districts (59.6%) are estimated to receive more general aids than in 2022-23, while 164 districts (39%) are estimated to receive less. Six districts are estimated to have no change in aid between the 2022-23 and 2023-24 fiscal years, and 61 districts are estimated to receive the maximum 15% decrease under the state’s hold harmless aid provision.

“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,” DPI said. “General school aids are distinct from the recent investment from various federal stimulus efforts intended to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These federal funds have a spending deadline and will not renew after 2024.”

District aid estimates can be found on DPI’s School Financial Services website in the general aids section (www.dpi.wi.gov/sfs/aid/general/summary). 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 2023-24, 2022-23 and 2021-22 school years (third Friday in September count),” DPI stated. “Per pupil aid will be paid in March 2024. Under current law, it will be paid at $742.00 per pupil.”

Data courtesy of DPI.
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