State budget impacts school funding

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by WDJT Assignment Desk

MILWAUKEE--The state budget is hitting some school districts harder than others.

Kettle Moraine, Grafton, Yorkville and Menomonee Falls are among nearly two thirds of school districts that’ll receive a significant decrease in state aid this year.

We’re talking about a 15 percent hit to their budget.

MPS will also get less state money, but it’s less than a one percent drop.

Some local school districts benefiting from the budget include Twin Lakes, Madison, Shorewood and Greendale with Twin Lakes getting a state aid boost of 60 percent.

The cuts to public school districts may in the end benefit private school choice programs in Milwaukee and Racine.

But in the meantime some school districts are scrambling to make adjustments.

Brown Deer’s School District will operate its 2012-2013 school year with $800,000 less in state aid from last year which is one of the highest among 272 districts statewide facing cuts.

Emily Koczela the Director of Finance said that the district knew this was coming so they have been preparing to meet the challenge.

By law taxpayers could have been required to absorb the cut by increases in their property taxes, but Koczela said that the district didn’t want to do that.

“We prepaid some debt last year so that’s a debt payment we don’t need to make… We didn't cut art music gym any of those extracurricular or sports… Many of the other things we just did a little bit out of everything,” Koczela said.

Celeste Meyer, the Director of UWM Charter Schools, said this cut won’t affect them much because they’ve always had the challenge of operating with less while making student’s academics their first priority.

“They actually run with about two thousand dollars less per pupil than students attending traditional public schools… Over half of our schools right now have waiting list,” Meyer said.

A statement from the Wisconsin Education Association Council said that most schools may not be so lucky.

Many will have increase in class sizes and staff reductions.

For a complete list of school aid including the district in your area look under the news links section on the front page of our website.


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