Million Dollar Increase In State Aid to School Funding Proposed by State Superintendent

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU)- A proposed 615-million dollar school aid increase for Wisconsin could mean the government would pay a portion of the funding that property owners have been paying.

The state schools superintendent Tony Evers wants to re-do the formula for funding Wisconsin's public schools.

He wants the state to pay 2.4 percent more into schools during the
2013-2014 budget year, and 5.5 percent more the following year.

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The schools couldn't use the money for anything they want, it's simply a way to off-set the cost that is now passed on to property
owners.

"It’s not enough to make up the ground we have lost but any funding is
good for the school district,” said La Crosse school district Executive Director of Business Services, Janet Rosseter.

At least one teacher says his benefits have been reduced, but the proposal wouldn't put any more money in his pocket.

“Teachers have picked up the slack. Despite everything we will stay professionals and do the best for the children,” said La Crosse elementary teacher Ed Ludwig.

If passed, the La Crosse school district would get 4.9 million dollars more in state aid and Onalaska would see a 1.3 million dollar increase.

"In the old days we would get 200-300 dollars per child just to deal with inflation costs. Evers proposal is so we could go back to an increase like that,” said Onalaska Finance Director Larry Dalton.

The proposal itself would only make a small change for the La
Crosse school district taxpayers. This year they paid more than 44 million dollars in taxes towards the school, and with the proposal taxpayers would still be paying around 40 million dollars. In La Crosse taxpayers have been paying more than the state aid since 2007.

"State aid for La Crosse over the past 5 years has declined more than 7 million dollars,” said Rosseter.

Wisconsin's republican-controlled legislature would have to approve the proposal, and the governor would have to sign off on it for it to take effect.


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