Revenue cap for school districts should be increased

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Since 1993, public school districts in Wisconsin, including the Sheboygan Area School District (SASD), have operated under a revenue cap. The revenue cap limits the amount of revenue a district may receive through a combination of state aid and local property tax. As a result of Act 10, increases to the revenue cap are not tied to inflationary increases, and it is creating problems for school districts.

Since Act 10 became law, annual revenue cap increases for the Sheboygan Area School District have averaged less than 0.5 percent. During that same time, inflation has increased an average of 2 percent per year.

The inability of the district to keep up with inflation has created an ongoing structural deficit in the district’s budget. SASD is spending less money per student today than it did five years ago. Up until this point, the district has been able to avoid major programming cuts by balancing its budget through reductions in employee salaries and benefits and also by deferring building maintenance.

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