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State’s schools borrowing at highest level in 20 years

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new report says borrowing by Wisconsin public school districts is at its highest levels in at least 20 years.

The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance reported Monday that voters approved $1.35 billion in new borrowing for Wisconsin public schools last year. The previous high, adjusted for inflation, was more than $1 billion in 1996.

And this spring 23 districts are asking voters to approve nearly $708 million in additional debt. The Taxpayers Alliance says most of the money is being used to pay for new construction or remodeling projects.

As recently as 2011, new debt by K-12 public schools was one-tenth of what it was last year. Borrowing has skyrocketed from around $2,300 per student in 2010 to more than $9,700 per student in 2016.

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