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State Aid to Elmbrook Takes a Nosedive

School district is losing nearly $700,000 in state aid, but property taxes still expected to drop in December.

The Elmbrook School District will see its state aid drop by 11 percent this year — but it shouldn't have an effect on the district's property taxes.

Elmbrook will receive $5.45 million in aid in the 2012-13 school year, an 11.2 percent drop from the previous year, according to final figures released by the state Department of Public Instruction.

And Elmbrook isn't alone

Of Wisconsin's 424 school districts, 272 — nearly two-thirds — will see declines in state aid this year, the DPI said.

The New Berlin School District, for example, is losing $950,000 in state aid — a 5 percent drop from last year. Wauwatosa will see state aid fall by 4.9 percent, however, the Waukesha School District will actually get 1.4 percent more in aid — an increase of about $649,000.

Overall, Wisconsin public schools will receive $4.3 billion in general aid for the this school year, an increase of 0.7 percent from last year. However, that's down more than 7 percent from two years ago, the DPI said. The 2011-13 state budget cut general school aid by 8.1 percent.

The good news for Elmbrook taxpayers is that despite the reduction in state funds, the district still expects its property tax levy to drop by 0.5 percent from last year. That means the owner of a home assessed at $300,000 should pay about $18 less in school taxes this year.

The district's overall spending in 2012-13 is expected to drop by 2.5 percent or about $2 million, from about $81 million to nearly $79 million.

Last year, Elmbrook was one of only 13 districts in Wisconsin to see an increase in state aid, when it received a 4.9 percent bump.

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