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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


The 2017-19 biennial budget was the largest dollar and percent increase in per-pupil funding in state history, according to a statement from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 

This is largely due to a significant increase of funding in the per-pupil categorical aid program. The specific aid payment increased from $250 per pupil in fiscal year 2017 to $654 per pupil by fiscal year 2019 — totaling to an increase of $505 million in the biennial budget. 

The 2005-07 biennial budget contained the greatest dollar and percent increases in terms of overall state funding for K-12 education. Within that budget, fiscal year 2006 represents the largest total increase in dollars and percent increase of $301.6 million and 6.2%, respectively. 

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin Department Of Public Instruction: Per-Pupil Aid

DocumentCloud: K-12 Biennial Budgets

DocumentCloud: DPI statement about K-12 funding

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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.