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School districts get overall reduction in state aid

Wisconsin school districts officially got the bad news many were expecting Thursday.

The state released the final school aid figures and most districts are getting less than a year ago. In the summer, it was estimated that one of every five school systems would get 15 percent less, the maximum allowed by law.

West Bend lost $1.6 million in state aid, and they're looking at cutting athletic programs starting next fall.

Other districts are considering more program cuts, new property tax increases, or both. In Brown Deer, the Citizens for Responsible Government are rallying to stop a modest 3 percent school tax hike.

They say many people had their wages frozen, and the schools should freeze their tax rates as well.

The state reduced its school aid by $147 million this year, to make up for a drop in state revenues.

But lawmakers did add $70 million to a state credit that reduces local property tax bills.

Those credits are especially targeted to communities with higher tax burdens.