In a July 1 estimate, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction anticipated that Osceola’s general school aids would increase about $44,000 (0.43%) for the 2019-20 year.
That estimate does not include per pupil categorical aid, which will be based on student enrollment from the 2019-20, 2018-19, and 2017‑18 school years (third Friday in September count).
Proposed budget language had set per pupil aid at $679 for the 2019-20 school year and $704 for the following year. Governor Tony Evers increased that to $742 for the next two school years, using partial-veto power before signing the budget.
According to information from the DPI, Osceola is one of 248 schools estimated to receive more general aid in 2019-20. Other area schools showing increases are Baldwin-Woodville, Barron, Cameron, Cumberland, Grantsburg, New Richmond, Amery, Prairie Farm, St. Croix Central and Unity.
Of the state’s 421 school districts, 40 percent (168) are estimated to receive less including Boyceville, Clayton, Clear Lake, Hudson, St. Croix Falls, Somerset and Turtle Lake.
Five districts will have no change in the aid between the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years.
General school aids are the largest form of state support for public schools in the state. Wisconsin statutes require the department to publish estimated aid amounts by July 1 each year. The estimate can help school personnel to complete their annual budgets and project changes in property tax levies. Estimated amounts are subject to change because they are based on proposed, not final, state budget appropriations for 2019-21 as well as budgeted, not audited, school district data from the 2018-19 school year. On Oct. 15, the department will certify amounts for 2019-20 general school aids based on audited data and finalized state budget numbers.
Estimated general school aids for 2019-20 total $4.740 billion for Wisconsin, representing a $83.2 million (1.8 percent) increase over 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. This includes property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs — or from changes to the state appropriation.
Suzanne Lindgren contributed reporting for this article.