by Superintendent Mitch Wainwright
There are times during a person’s life when they may come into some unexpected money. Maybe they had withheld too much on their income tax and received a refund. Another possibility could be a lucky winner on a scratch-off lottery ticket. Or, you could be the benefactor of an insurance policy. No matter the circumstances, it is extra money that you have available to use one time. In these cases, you receive the money and when it is gone, it is gone!
Recently, the State Legislature passed the budget and the Governor signed it into law. There were claims made that school districts would be receiving a large increase in support from the State of Wisconsin. Initially, in order for the state to receive the maximum amount of federal aid, the state needed to show evidence it is spending an equal amount on education that was spent in a prior budget year. The current state budget meets this requirement.
Oftentimes in any budget, whether it is your house, work, or your own business, there are winners and losers. In this budget, the property taxpayers are the big winners. The increase in funding for education is going directly to property taxpayers. This is a win. The State Legislature met the letter of the law by increasing the amount of spending they are providing to the property taxpayers. The school districts will not see significant additional funding. Mineral Point’s actual, reported funding increase will be $15,722. Our district budget is just over $14 million dollars, and this supposed increase for all school needs amounts to one-tenth of one percent.
The direction schools have been given by the State Legislature is to use our ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds to pay for our normal operating expenses. This is similar to using your tax refund, scratch-off winnings, or insurance policy to make your mortgage payment. This is not a good use of money that will only be available one time. The district has made cuts in our budget and we will have a balanced budget when we certify the levy in October. As a result of the state budget, our mill rate should drop because the legislature sent the increase in state aid directly to the property taxpayer.
For every property taxpayer in the Mineral Point Unified School District, the schools’ share of property taxes collected should decline. Please remember that the city, county, and technical college all add to the total amount of property taxes collected. The other thing I would like everyone to remember, as stated above, is that the school district itself is not receiving any significant additional funding from this biennium state budget.
As always, thank you for supporting our District and helping to make #PointerNation a great place to be.