State sets school aid budget

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(WEAU)--School State Aid Budgets have been set. The state released the amount of money 434 school districts will get this year. 2/3 of the districts in the state lost aid this year, which is a slight change from last year’s budget.
In the first year of the biannual budget every school district lost money.

But this year many school districts in the Chippewa Valley gained some state funding, including Eau Claire and Altoona.

The finalized state school aid budget is good news for the Eau Claire school district and Altoona school district.
Both of the districts received a 5 percent increase in aid.

“Five percent is a large number in any ones budget this year,” said Dan Van de Water with the Eau Claire School District.

For the Eau Claire district that 5 percent increase equals out to more the two million dollars.

“It’s a real plus for the tax payers because every time you have an increase in state funds you can decrease the tax levy by that amount,” said Van de Water.

The Altoona school district will receive around 5-hundred thousand dollars more this year.

“When our budgets have been cut so much this is good news,” said Altoona Superintendent Connie Biedron.

Biedron says in Altoona the increase in funds is because of increase in students.

“We do have a bigger kindergartener classes this year and our 4-k is larger,” said Biedron.

But she says it's not extra money.

“The 500,000 is great it doesn't mean we can go out and do extra stuff it just means we can decrease the deficit we would have had otherwise,” said Biedron.

Chippewa Falls, Fall Creek and Augusta all saw slight decreases.
Chetek-Wyerhaeser saw one of the largest decreases in funding at 10 percent.