Wisconsin School Spending Increases 4.6%, largest since 2001-2002


Wisconsin public school spending rose 4.6% in 2004-05, the largest increase since 2001-02 (5.7%). Spending on instructional support for such items as staff training, library services and athletics rose 7.7%. Expenditures for instruction and for building and grounds were both up 4.8%.
Spending per student rose 4.8%, slightly faster than the total because enrollments in the state’s public schools fell 0.3% in 2004-05 to 869,961. In 2004-05, Wisconsin school districts budgeted to spend $10,367 per student, or $477 more than the year before (The Madison School District’s per student spending is about 30% higher than the state average). The majority of expenditures were for instructional costs, which climbed 5.0% to $6,068 per student. Expenditures for instructional salaries and benefits ($5,428) rose 4.6%, higher than the annual average of 3.9% during the previous five years. Per student expenditures for transportation ($408, +2.5%) and administration ($785, +3.8%) increased at below-average rates, WISTAX noted.