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July 15, 2009

Sloppy Wisconsin K-12 budget hits Madison, other schools hard

Scott Milfred:

It's not just Madison schools getting hit with a much bigger cut in state aid than expected.

Middleton-Cross Plains is in the same leaky boat. So are schools in Adams-Friendship, Green Lake, Markesan, Montello, Princeton, Westfield and Wisconsin Dells.

State lawmakers had said no school district in Wisconsin should experience a state aid cut of more than 10 percent, under the state budget just signed into law.

But more than 90 school districts, including all of those listed above, just learned they're facing cuts greater than 15 percent. In addition, school districts including Lodi and Cambridge are facing cuts of more than 12 percent.

It's a stunning blow to local schools.
In Madison, it means the worst-case scenario of a 10 percent cut of $6 million next school year just became a much bigger reduction of more than $9 million.

That's likely to trigger higher local property taxes and cuts to instruction -- despite last fall's referendum that was supposed to steady Madison schools for three years.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at July 15, 2009 7:59 PM
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