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Slight increase in per-student school funding

MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News)   Despite the uproar over massive spending cuts, Wisconsin public schools still received more money per student in 2011 than the previous year – and the Badger State was still in the top-third of all states in per-pupil spending.

The U-S Census Bureau said yesterday that Wisconsin taxpayers spent $11,774 dollars per student in 2011. That’s 3.6-percent more than the previous year, while school spending nationally dropped a half-percent to $10,560-dollars per student.

Wisconsin had the 16th highest school spending among the 50 states and Washington D-C. Wisconsin’s increase came in spite of Governor Scott Walker’s first budget, which cut $834-million dollars in state school aid while putting new limits on what schools could get from property taxes. Dale Knapp of the state’s Taxpayers Alliance said the numbers show that other states had already cut school spending, and Wisconsin was quote, “a bit late to the party.” Milwaukee school officials say the Census numbers are artificially high. They believe the figures include tax money for low-income kids in private schools under the state’s voucher program.

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