Fiscal memo on state general aid for school districts released

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has released its annual memo outlining state general aids paid to public school districts.

The LFB memo, entitled 2018-19 General School Aids for All School Districts, provides information on each district’s aid membership, equalized value per member, shared cost per member, and equalization aid eligibility.  In addition, the memo details the amount deducted from each public school district’s aid allocation to pay per pupil amounts to independent charter schools authorized by the City of Milwaukee, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Parkside under s. 118.40 (2r), Wis. Stats. According to the memo, a total of $4,656.8 million will be paid in 2018-19 for general school aids, with $4,594.6 million of that total paid out as general equalization aid.

An attachment to the memo shows the amounts of high poverty aid paid to the 68 districts that receive this aid.  To receive high poverty aid a district must have more than 50 percent of its third Friday in September membership count eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch in the national school lunch program.  Because high poverty aid must be used to offset property taxes that would otherwise be levied by the school districts that receive this aid, it is considered a form of general school aids.

The memo does not include information on per pupil categorical aid payments as these are not considered general aids and are provided outside the revenue limits the same as other categorical aids.