The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Hurley K-12 to see increase in general aid

 

July 10, 2019



By TOM LAVENTURE

tlaventure@yourdailyglobe.com

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has released general aid to school districts for the 2019-20 school year.

General aid to the Hurley School District this year increased 5.67% or $143,559 from $2.52 million in 2018-19 to $2.67 million in 2019-20. General aid is unlimited financing for general educational programs of school districts, as opposed to categorical aid that is restricted for specific purposes.

The increase in the state general aid doesn’t add additional revenue to the budget, but it does present an additional share that the state will be responsible for next year, Kevin Genisot, administrator for the Hurley School District said via email Monday. The revenue limit remains unchanged, but the increase in state aid shifts more of the costs to the state and away from the local taxpayers.

“As far as the implications of the new budget the governor recently signed, it appears we will receive an additional $45,000 in increased per-pupil categorical aid which is above the revenue limit and is an actual increase in revenue,” Genisot said.

The categorical aids provide funds above the revenue limit and there are some additional areas in the recently approved state budget that won’t be known for a few weeks, he said. There could be some additional increases in revenue coming, he said.

“Our student numbers along with the property values of the Hurley School District will also impact things and we won’t know specifics until October,” Genisot said. “In the meantime, we will continue to adjust our preliminary budget as information becomes available but we remain optimistic that things look good for next year.”

Mercer School District was one of five school districts in the state that saw no change in its general aid from last year. General aid can increase or decrease for any of three local factors of property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs, according to the DPI. Aid can also be affected by changes to the state appropriation.

Mercer School District officials could not be reached for comment.

There are different reasons why some school districts receive zero general school aid or have a zero increase, said Benson Gardner, communications officer for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The general aid estimate is released in July to help school districts complete annual budgets and to make projections with property tax levies, according to the DPI. The final general aid amount will be determined on Oct. 15, and could change with the state budget appropriations process and finalized school district data of the previous year.

The DPI reports that estimated general school aids for 2019-20 total $4.740 billion for the state, which is an $83.2 million or 1.8% increase over last year. Of the state’s 421 school districts, 248 or 59% are estimated to receive more general aid, while 168 districts or 40% percent are estimated to receive less.

 
 

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