How the new state budget increases spendable resources for schools

In signing the 2019-21 state budget into law, Gov. Evers used his partial veto authority in a way that increases per pupil categorical aid payments above the level the Legislature had provided.  As a result, school districts will receive per pupil aid payments equal to $742 per pupil in each year (i.e., in both 2019-20 and 2020-21).   The governor’s partial veto also has the effect of “front-loading” the per pupil aid increase compared to the way the Legislature provided this aid, which would have spread the increase evenly over two years (see charts below).

The governor also used his partial veto authority to substantially alter a newly created supplemental per pupil aid program in a way that shifted the targeted recipients of this new aid from those school districts that receive little or no state general equalization aid to  all school districts.  (Some technical, legal questions remain about whether the distribution of this aid can be made on a per-pupil basis under the governor’s partial veto.  The second chart below assumes that the intent of the governor was to distribute this aid on a per-pupil basis to all school districts.)

 

The year-to-year effect of the budget as approved by the Legislature can be seen in the chart below:

JFC/Legislature passed version
INCREASES year-to-year 2019-20 2020-21
Revenue Limit Per Pupil (Increase over prior year) $175 $179
Per Pupil Categorical Aid (Increase over prior year) $25 $25
Sub-total $200 $204
Supplemental Per Pupil Aid (Increase over prior year) N/A N/A
Total annual per pupil increase $200 $204
Cumulative Per Pupil Increase $200 $404

 

The year-to-year effect of the Governor’s action can be seen in the chart below:

Final Budget as signed by the Governor
(w/Partial Vetoes)
INCREASES year-to-year 2019-20 2020-21
Revenue Limit Per Pupil (Increase over prior year) $175 $179
Per Pupil Categorical Aid (Increase over prior year) $88 $0
Sub-total $263 $179
Supplemental Per Pupil Aid*
(Increase over prior year)
$3** $0**
Total annual per pupil INCREASE $266 $179
Cumulative Per Pupil INCREASE $266 $445
   
*Estimated
(If paid on a per-pupil basis, estimated payments would be roughly $3.33/pupil in 2019-20 and $3.00/pupil  in 2020-21)
   
** Supplemental Per Pupil Aid is a newly created categorical aid that is received outside the revenue limit.  Under the JFC/Legislative version, this new aid would have gone to a select few districts. A typical district would have received $0/pupil of this aid; however, those districts that receive no ($0) general equalization aid would have received up to $321/pupil  in 2019-20 and $296/pupil in 2020-21, and districts that receive very minimal amounts of general equalization aid would have received this new supplemental aid to the extent that their per-pupil amount of general aid, plus their per-pupil  amount of per pupil categorical aid, totals less than $1,000/pupil.  As partially vetoed by the governor, this new aid was changed so that all districts will share equally in this aid and will receive roughly $3/pupil in each year. (See note above.)  This aid will be received outside the revenue limits.