FILE - Wisconsin school bus

A school bus drops students off at the Oshkosh, Wis., public library

Public schools in the state of Wisconsin are in line to get more money from Madison than ever before. 

The state's Department of Public Instruction on Monday released the preliminary estimate of general school aid in the new state budget. 

DPI says the new two-year, $81 billion spending plan includes over $9 billion for public schools. 

For the 2019-2020 school year, DPI said its estimate is that schools will receive $4.74 billion. That's $83.2 million more than last year. 

"Estimated amounts are subject to change because they are based on proposed, not final, state budget appropriations for 2019-21 as well as budgeted, not audited, school district data from the 2018-19 school year," the DPI said in its statement. 

A final tally is due to schools by Oct. 15. 

DPI said most schools in Wisconsin will see more money in the new state budget. 

"Of the state’s 421 school districts, 59 percent (248) are estimated to receive more general aid in 2019-20, while 40 percent of districts (168) are estimated to receive less," the DPI statement said. "Five districts will have no change in the aid between the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years."

Yearly general state aid payments vary based on property valuation, enrollment, and shared costs. 

But money from Madison doesn't paint the total picture of school spending. 

Local schools use local tax dollars to pay for their schools as well. 

Many schools in Wisconsin will see more money from local tax increases. Voters across the state approved 75% of the $1.2 billion in school referendums that were on April's ballot. They approved a similar number the year before as well. 

The general state aid estimate from DPI also does not include per pupil categorical aid. That number won't be available until after the third day of school in September.  

Staff Writer

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.