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Decrease in state aid, declining enrollment ‘red flags for future’ for La Crosse school district



School’s business services director said there
were positives, negatives from state budget passing 

A public hearing and passage of the 2017-18 budget was held at last night’s La Crosse school board meeting.

La Crosse school district’s business services director Patricia Sprang said it’s good news for taxpayers in the district, particularly because of home values.

“It increased by 6.06 percent,” she said. “What that means, even though we anticipate an increase in the levy, the tax rate is actually a decrease from last year.”

A 3.2 percent decrease, as a matter of fact.

Sprang said the budget moving forward will be easier since they now know the projected state aid.

In the past year, the district lost 33 students based on the state mandated third-Friday count. Despite the drop, which included 51 from the high school, Sprang said they’re seeing more kids coming to the district from outside. She said 333 students are incoming, while the schools have lost 268.

Looking at the first budget in her new position, Sprang says it’s a mixed bag for the future.

“Increasing the per-pupil aid has helped us this year,” she said. “Yet, with the declining enrollment and a decrease in state aid, those are red flags for the future.”

She said the recently-signed state budget had both positive and negatives for the future.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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