A majority of Kenosha County school districts will see a decrease in state aid for the upcoming school year, according to estimated general aid figures released by the state Department of Public Instruction.
But, it could have been worse, Wilmot Union High School business manager Dave Betz, said.
State aid to the rural high school will decrease $480,849, or 11.19 percent, from $4,295,355 to $3,814,506. But, Betz said the district was prepared, having estimated an even bigger decrease.
“We were projecting aid at $3,781,000,” Betz said. “We’ve got declining enrollment and property values that are increasing faster then the rest of the state.”
The estimates help school personnel craft their annual budgets and project changes in property tax levies.
Estimated amounts are subject to change. On Oct. 15, DPI will certify amounts for 2019-20 general school aids based on audited data and finalized state budget numbers.
In the budget he signed Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers increased funding for K-12 public schools primarily by raising the per-pupil state aid amount to $742 in each of the next two fiscal years, up from the $679 and $704 Republicans put in the budget.
Evers’ changes will result in an $87 million increase for schools above the $500 million or so in additional aid that Republicans provided.
Estimated general school aids for 2019-20 total $4.74 billion for the state, representing an $83.2 million (1.8 percent) increase over last year.
Due to changes in the aid deduction from Milwaukee Public Schools for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the estimated increase in aid payments to districts is $83.7 million.
Of the state’s 421 school districts, 59 percent (248) are estimated to receive more general aid in 2019-20, while 40 percent of districts (168) are estimated to receive less; five districts will have no change in the aid between the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years.
In Kenosha County, aid is estimated to decrease in support of seven districts and increase in support of five.
The Brighton and Paris elementary districts are estimated to see significant decreases. General aid to those districts is estimated to decrease 13.6 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
Conversely, the Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated and Wheatland Center School districts are estimated to see double-digit percent increases of 17.31 and 11.97 percent, respectively. In Trevor-Wilmot, that equates to a extra $500,065 in general aid.
Administrators there were not available for comment Tuesday as they were conducting the annual audit.
The Kenosha Unified School District will receive slightly more money — an increase of 0.17 percent, or an additional $252,942.
State aid is affected by changes in property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs — or by changes to the state appropriation.
The general aid estimate does not include per pupil categorical aid, which will be based on student membership from the 2019-20, 2018-19 and 2017-18 school years (third Friday in September count). Per pupil aid will be paid in March 2020.