01STOCK_SCHOOL_2

JANESVILLE

The Janesville School District will receive an estimated $696,400 less in general state aid for the 2020-21 school year than it received this school year, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Public Instruction.

The estimate amounts to a 1.08% decrease in aid.

General state aid is the largest form of financial support for the state’s public schools, according to a news release. School districts use their aid estimates to build their budgets for the school year.

A Janesville district official said the district expected less aid because of declining enrollment, but he warned that the numbers are estimates and won’t be official until October.

“This is just a rough estimate. It can change, and it has changed between July 1 and Oct. 15, what ends up coming from the state,” said Patrick Gasper, public information officer for the district.

Gasper said the lower aid estimate was not a surprise. The school district’s enrollment dipped below 10,000 students in the January 2019 headcount and has stayed below that threshold since then.

“Was the $696,400 expected? Probably,” he said. “... But again this is very preliminary, and we don’t know what those numbers will be come Oct. 15.”

The state Legislature’s action on the education budget in coming months also could affect the estimates, Gasper said.

The DPI is required by state statute to release aid estimates to school districts on July 1 of each year.

Between now and mid-October, the agency will look at audits of each district’s finances and use the student count from the third Friday in September to determine aid. Enrollment is examined on a three-year rolling average, which helps to soften big gains and losses.

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