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Scramble to finish state budget causes costly error in school aid

As lawmakers scrambled to finish the new state budget last month, they apparently made a costly mistake.

State school superintendent Tony Evers said legislators decided how much state aid schools would get by using outdated figures from 2007, instead of the numbers from last year.

And that's why districts like Madison, New Berlin and Oconomowoc will get 15 percent less in state money instead of the maximum cut of 10 percent that lawmakers had generally agreed to.

Evers said legislative leaders should have consulted his department when setting the final numbers, but they didn't. He said he could have set them straight, but he never got the chance.

And the new superintendent said lawmakers should be a little more careful in the future.

Meanwhile, the affected school districts will have to make up for the higher than expected loss in aid by either raising local property taxes or cutting programs.