SchoolFacts Book SchoolFacts11

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  • Summary
  • Press Release
  • The 2011 version features 2009-10 actual and 2010-11 budgeted revenue and expenditure figures, along with information on staff sizes and ratios, test scores, salaries, property values, fund balances, student characteristics and more for every school district in Wisconsin.

    This 154 page book is 9x12 and professionally bound with easy to read charts.

    Purchasers of SchoolFacts also get access to specialized reports for an additional fee. You can purchase a custom report that allows you to compare your district to nine others of your choice. You can also purchase a report showing how your district changed over a 10-year period. Information on how to order these reports are included in the book and here online when you buy the book.

  • Dale Knapp or Todd A. Berry

    Open Enrollment Changing the Face of Public Schools

    WISTAX’s SchoolFacts11 Provides Comprehensive School Information

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    MADISON—In 2010-11, a record number of students took advantage of Wisconsin’s open enrollment program to attend school elsewhere than in their own district. The 34,498 participants was 8.1% higher than in 2010 and nearly five times higher than in 2001. Open enrollment numbers varied widely, with 13 districts experiencing net outflows of more than 10% of their student populations and 34 with net inflows of similar magnitude. These findings are detailed in SchoolFacts11, the annual reference book from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) that provides, for every school district in the state, a wide range of information on enrollment, finance, staffing, and test scores.

    In 2010-11, 4.0% of Wisconsin’s public school students attended a district other than their own. Dover (26.2%) and South Shore (23.0%) both had net outflows (students leaving less those coming) of more than 20%. Eleven other districts (Florence, Mercer, Neosho, Palmyra-Eagle, Richfield, Stockbridge, Twin Lakes, Washington-Caldwell, Wheatland, Winter, and Wonewoc-Union Center) had net outflows of over 10%.

    While open enrollment participation has grown steadily since program inception in 1999, the spread of online schools helped drive numbers in recent years (online students are open enrollment participants). Among the five districts with the largest net gains, three (Northern Ozaukee, Grantsburg, and McFarland) have virtual charter schools. Of the other 10 districts with net student gains of more than 20%, seven were K-8 districts (Brighton, Erin, Friess Lake, Geneva, Lake Country, Rubicon, and Yorkville), two were K-12s (Ashwaubenon and Saint Francis), and one was a union high (Union Grove). Open enrollment figures for all districts are a new feature of the popular SchoolFacts book, WISTAX said.

    While more students are taking advantage of open enrollment, the total number enrolled in Wisconsin public schools continues to decline. In 2011, 857,856 full-time equivalent students were so enrolled, 1,200 fewer than in 2010 and the fewest in 15 years. The downward trend comes despite the addition of four-year-old kindergarten in many districts and the surge in online schools, which have brought some homeschooled students into the public realm. Enrollments for five-year-old kindergarten through 12th grade have dropped 4.6%, or nearly 40,000 students, since 1998.

    SchoolFacts also provides the latest per student spending figures for the state’s 424 school districts. Statewide, 2011 per student spending was budgeted at $12,653, or 4.0% more than the $12,170 spent in 2010. The biggest increases in per student spending were in instructional support (+8.4% to $605), building and grounds (6.1%, $1,182), and instruction (4.8%, $7,483). Much of the increase in the latter category was due to rising salaries and benefits (+4.7%, $6,255).

    WISTAX researchers noted that in 2010, school officials were more cautious than in past years. Statewide, actual school spending was typically about 1% less than budgeted. In 2010, per student spending was almost 2% below budgeted amounts. Aid cuts and slower-growing state revenue limits mandated in the 2009-11 budget, along with future uncertainty, may have played a role.

    WISTAX researchers noted that the percentage of students identified as disabled fell slightly, to 14.3% from 14.4%. More than two in five (40.5%) students were eligible for free or reduced lunch (an indicator of district poverty) in 2011, up from 25.4% in 2000-01.

    SchoolFacts is the state’s most complete published collection of Wisconsin school district information. The 164-page book contains school district information on student characteristics, test scores, revenues, spending, staffing, and much more.

    SchoolFacts11 also contains summary figures by cooperative educational service agency (CESA) and by district size. In addition, supplemental reports for an athletic conference, a select group of districts, or a district’s history can be ordered from WISTAX.

    SchoolFacts11 can be ordered by writing the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, 401 North Lawn Ave., Madison, WI 53704-5033, by calling 608.241.9789, or by visiting The price per copy is $34.95, plus tax. Discounts are available for WISTAX donors and members.

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