Despite an announcement last week that the Janesville School District will receive $1.8 million more in state aid, a district official said that the additional money will come in the form of property tax relief and not go directly toward teaching, learning and operations.
Chief Financial Officer Dan McCrea, speaking Tuesday at the Janesville School District Finance/Building & Grounds Committee meeting, said the 2.9% increase in funding for the 2021-22 school year from the year before has already been budgeted.
McCrea referenced an article in the July 2 issue of The Gazette about increases in state aid for public schools throughout Rock County, including Janesville and Milton, based on estimates released by the Department of Public Instruction.
McCrea said the additional $1,877,368 in general equalization aid is property tax relief.
“It’s a distribution issue,” he said. “When the state is talking about pouring more dollars into equalization aid, there’s still calculations that need to occur in terms of what districts are going to ultimately achieve. ... We go through the audit and we’re aided on actual expenses, not budgeted expenses.”
McCrea’s presentation also touched on other 2021-22 budget items, the cost of which are still unknown, such as the actual state allocation to the district, student enrollment figures, the Janesville International Exchange Program, the final equalized property values and total general equalization aid.
After the presentation, school board treasurer Greg Ardrey asked, “Will a proposed budget be presented to the board? We’re already moving into the fiscal year. It would be nice to authorize the spending that’s happening. Because we’re spending the money anyway.”
“That’s really not a problem,” McCrea replied, without setting a date for introducing the preliminary budget.