Independent charters receive twice as much federal COVID aid per student as school districts | Local government


Independent charter schools are public schools that are not supervised by a local school board, but may be licensed by various entities such as the University of Wisconsin system. They differ from charter schools supervised by school boards, such as Nuestro Mundo in Madison. Federal data only covered districts and independent charter schools.

For the most part, independent charter schools received as much per student because they have a high number of students from low-income households, according to DPI. Jim Bender, a lobbyist for School Choice Wisconsin, said independent charter schools have a very high percentage of low-income students.

The amount that school districts received per student also varied considerably. The Granton Area School District in central Wisconsin received the second highest amount in federal dollars per capita – $ 13,964. According to the non-partisan Legislative Tax Office, the Granton Area school district had a US Census poverty percentage of 30.5%, among the highest in the state and well above the average of 12.4%.

The Madison School District is expected to receive $ 71 million, or about $ 2,714 per student. The school district’s poverty rate is 10.4%, according to the US census. Meanwhile, the Waunakee School District, with a poverty rate of 3.4%, is expected to receive $ 868,000 or $ 202 per student.

Milwaukee public schools are expected to receive about $ 796 million, the highest total number of any school district in Wisconsin, or about $ 11,217 per student. The US Census poverty percentage in Milwaukee is 30%.


Julio V. Miller

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