National Center for Education Statistics

After Nearly a Decade, School Investments Still Way Down in Some States
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Oct. 20, 2016, by Michael Leachman, Kathleen Masterson and Marlana Wallace

Wisconsin School Funding and Student Outcome: Systemic Roadblock to Opportunity
AEF’s second study, demonstrate that the system funding the education of our children actually contributes to inequity of educational opportunity.

Forward Institute Study of Education Funding
Eight years of educational funding data show that Wisconsin schools of highest need are being increasingly starved of resources. The below videos were developed to help explain the study.

Reschovsky Presentation on School Property Tax Relief dated January 19, 2012
Dr Reschovsky shared his slides with us. Several slides show the results of his study on School Levy Credits that help to illustrate our concerns about their inequitable distribution. Presentation made to the AEF Membership at its Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 19, 2012.

LFB Levy Credit Analysis
This document contains the 2/8/10 analysis of $747M of levy credits that was conducted by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB). It shows the impact of distributing the same dollars through the Equalization Aid formula instead of as School Levy Credits. The results indicate that 70% of WI school districts would gain more state support and rely less on property taxes if this strategy were adopted. Given the combined sizes of those districts, they represent 80% of WI public school children. The amount that would be gained by each of these districts as well as the losses in the other 30% of districts (encompassing 20% of the school children) are listed in this report alphabetically by district.

Aid v. Levy Credit Treatment of Wisconsin School Districts According to Legislative Districts
Attached is an Excel spreadsheet that contains the LFB February 2010 analysis of how WI school districts are treated based on direct equalization aid versus levy credits. Check the separate tabs for these results sorted by both Senate and Assembly districts. See the worksheets in the file with the Yellow and Red tabs.

Observations about the Levy Credit v. Equalization Aid Analysis According to Legislative District
A Word document is also posted that provides a summary of findings based on these analyses – see the worksheets in the file with the Yellow and Red tabs.

Reschovsky Research Paper on Levy Credits
According to Andrew Reschovsky’s study of the levy credits, only 51% of the total school levy credit reduces property taxes of WI homeowners on their primary residences. He found further that 9% of the levy credits go to WI 2nd homeowners and 26% go to non-WI owners of 2nd homes in WI. The balance of 14% goes to tenants. Here are his findings, “Property owners in the poorest school districts (in terms of property wealth) received an average credit equal to $375 per student. The size of the average credit going to taxpayers in school districts with higher levels of property wealth per student increases with district wealth. Property owners in the state?s 21 property-richest districts received average per student credits of $2,596, nearly seven times the average credit going to taxpayers in the poorest school districts.” Another of Reschovsky’s findings was that homeowners with higher incomes tend to live in more expensive houses suggesting that higher levy credits are going to taxpayers with higher incomes. Reschovsky concluded that not only should the levy credit programs be discontinued and applied to direct school aids, but that the Homestead Tax Credit Program, which steers tax relief to those WI residents most in need, regardless of school district, should be enhanced. The complete paper is available here.