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County's three school districts are all losers in new state aid figures
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Langlade County’s three public school districts come out on the losing end on state aid payments, according to estimates released by the Department of Public Instruction this week.

While more than half of Wisconsin public school districts, 225, will receive more general aid in the 2014-15 school year than they did for the 2013-14 school year, Antigo, Elcho and White Lake are among the 197 districts that will see declines in the amount of money provided by the state for education.

Antigo’s aid will drop $49,400, or .33 percent, from $14,767,244 for this year to $14,717,844 next year.

“We had anticipated a drop,” Director of Business Services Mary Jo Filbrandt said.

She explained that the district is continuing to see declines in enrollment, which directly affects aid payments. In addition, unlike many districts, Antigo saw a slight uptick in equalized valuations of .3 percent.

“Those two dynamics contributed to a drop in state aid,” she said.

Elcho receives very little state assistance, due to high property values, but the amount it does get will fall $5,510, or 15.07 percent. Elcho received $36,551 this year and will get $31,041 next year.

White Lake’s aid will also fall 15.07 percent, but the dollar amount is more significant. The district will get $394,208 next year, compared to $464,183 this year, a drop of $69,975.

General school aid is set at $4.476 billion for 2014-15, a 2.1 percent increase in state general aid compared to last school year. Actual aid payments are estimated at $4.345 billion because of statutory reductions for the Milwaukee voucher program and for independent charter schools in Milwaukee and Racine.

By state statute, the department is required, by July 1, to compute an estimate of the general school aid each public school district will receive for the coming school year. School personnel use the estimate to complete their annual budgets. On Oct. 15, the department will certify state general aid amounts for 2014-15 based on audited 2013-14 data. Estimated general aid to districts may change.

The department’s July 1 aid estimate does not include per pupil categorical aid that will be paid in March, 2015. The appropriation for that aid is $127 million, which is $150 per pupil, a $75 per pupil increase over the 2013-14 per pupil amount.

According to the DPI, districts gaining the most aid, percentage-wise, for 2014-15 include Norris, 46.65 percent; Butternut, 23.67 percent; and Wheatland J1, 23.62.

Losers are led by Northwood, down 30.48 percent; Paris J1, 29.86 percent; Williams Bay, 28.08 percent; and Wabeno, 18.66 percent.


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