The annual school district budget is generated using a state-wide revenue limit worksheet that calculates the maximum amount of revenue that a school district can generate and collect taxes on. Although the calculations and formulas involved are far from simple, the basic premise for establishing a school district's allowable operating budget is as follows:
A district's enrollment is based on a 3-year rolling average of students in your district on the 3rd Friday in September. This average number of students is one of the multipliers to establish your revenue limit.
The other multiplier is the established 'revenue per student' amount. Once those two figures are calculated, a district's base revenue limit for the year is established.
There are a few exemptions that a district can qualify for. One is called the 'hold harmless' exemption. This basically says that if the calculations from one year to the next are actually less than the previous year, then the district is allowed to increase the limit to the same level as the prior year. The other exemption is called a 'declining enrollment' exemption. This is a one-time exemption for district's with declining enrollment to assist them in meeting the needs of the district.
Once the state-imposed revenue limit is calculated, then the state issues their certified aid amount for the year. This is the amount of money that the state will pay the district toward the revenue limit. The difference between the state-imposed revenue limit and the state aid we receive is the amount of money that is levied to the district's property owners based on equalized property values within the boundaries of the district.
If you are interested in contacting your elected officials in Madison with questions, comments, ideas or suggestions, a list of local representatives and the education committees are provided.
Click on these links for more information regarding the school district budget:
Budget for Adoption
10-year Historical Budget Data
Levy, Equalized Valuation, and Mill Rate
Budgeted Expense by Object - Chart
Budgeted Revenue by Source - Chart