Monday, July 1, 2013--4:10p.m.
MADISON--Madison's school board is getting the bad news that the district will be seeing a 15 percent drop in state aid this school year, compared to 2012-13.
Last year, the Madison Metropolitan School District got $58.4 million in general aid. The Department of Public Instruction is estimating they'll see a close to $9 million drop in 2013-14, falling to $49.5 million.
District Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Cheatham thinks the drop is a direct result of the new state budget. "We were anticipating better today," she said. "I know we are committed at MMSD with making sure that we're using every penny in our budget to its highest and best use, but it makes it really challenging when we're not getting sufficient funding to fund even the basics."
Dr. Cheatham said they'll be able to speak more in the coming weeks about the specifics of what this cut is going to mean for the district, as well as what differences parents will notice next school year. "I think basics like where we're going with teacher salaries for example are going to have to be a big part of that discussion," she said.
Madison is not alone: While general school aid is set to increase about one percent over last year, more than half of all school districts are expected to receive less money. "The fact of the matter is the amount of money that was put in our budget for public schools was not very much," said State Superintendent Dr. Tony Evers. "In fact it was less than the cost of inflation. So was I surprised that over half the schools got less than the year before? Absolutely not."