July 1 General Aid estimates to be released

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will release its annual July 1 general aid estimates a bit early this year–on Friday, June 29–because July 1 falls on a Sunday.

This is the first estimate of general aid for the 2018-19 school year.  It is based on unaudited figures from districts and, therefore, is subject to change. Nevertheless, school boards and administrators may find the estimate useful as they work on their annual budgets and attempt to project changes in their property tax levies.

The DPI will certify the actual state general aid amount for each district on Oct. 15.
General equalization aid funding for 2018-19 was increased by $72.75 million in the 2017-19 state budget.  Factors that impact whether general aid for a district increases or decreases include the total amount of aid to be distributed and where a district falls within the general equalization aid formula due to the interplay of factors within the formula— property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs–that vary from year to year.

General aid is state aid that is not limited to any specific program, purpose or target population but may be used to finance the general educational program as the recipient district sees fit.   Unlike categorical aid, general aid is received under the revenue limits.

State statutes require the DPI to compute an estimate of the state general school aid each public school district will receive for the coming school year by July 1.

Editor’s Note: The July 1 aid estimate does not include per pupil categorical aid, which is a categorial aid received outside the revenue limit, and not a general aid.  Per pupil categorical aid amounts for 2018-19 will be based on each district’s three-year rolling average student membership (third Friday in September count) from the 2018-19, 2017-18, and 2016‑17 school years.  Aid amounts can’t be calculated until this fall’s count takes place.