Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget calls for significant increases in state special education categorical (SPED) aid that would enable 30% of special education costs to be reimbursed in 2019-20 and 60% in 2020-21.
The current SPED aid amount is estimated to reimburse about 25.3% of special education costs eligible for reimbursement in 2018-19. Without an increase, the reimbursement rate is projected to drop below 25% in the future.
These higher reimbursement rates would be accomplished by boosting special education (SPED) aid by $75.0 million in 2019-20 and $531.1 million in 2020-21. Overall, SPED aid would total $444.0 million in 2019-20 and $900.0 million in 2020-21.
The WASB has received a copy of a memo from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau detailing the estimated impact of this aid increase on each school district (view memo).
The memo shows the amount of SPED aid each district received in 2017-18 (the most recent year available), as well as the estimated SPED aid that each district could receive in each year of the 2019-21 biennium, based on the costs used to calculate 2017-18 aid.
Of course, the actual aid amounts received by each district in future years may differ from those indicted in the memo because they are based on each district’s actual costs.