Not So Fast ... Dems Don't Get That School Spending is Up

There they go again

In a broadcast last week, House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel of Auburn Hills inaccurately claimed that Michigan's spending on public schools has gone down since Republicans gained control of the state House after the 2010 election.

“If you look at education funding today compared to when Republicans took control of the House, in inflation-adjusted dollars it is much lower today than it was before,” Greimel said on “Off The Record,” a public television political talk show.

ForTheRecord says: According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, Greimel is wrong.

In 2011, when Republicans took control of the House, President Obama's economic stimulus plan was sending billions of dollars into state budgets. When the Legislature convened, the budget for the year had already been established, with $13.0 billion appropriated for the school aid budget. Of that amount, $10.8 billion was state money.

Adjusting for inflation, that would be worth $13.9 billion today, or $11.6 billion without the federal money.

Last week, the GOP Legislature approved the budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, appropriating $14.2 billion for school aid. Of that amount, $12.3 billion comes directly from Michigan taxpayers, representing an increase in state support since 2011.

Moreover, spending has gone up even though there are fewer students to educate. Between 2010-11 and 2015-16, statewide public school enrollment fell 4.4 percent: There were 1.58 million K-12 students in Michigan’s public schools in 2010-11 and 1.51 million in 2015-16.

Greimel has at least abandoned his 2013 false claim that Republicans cut $1 billion from education. He now suggests there has been a cut if inflation is taken into account, but he's still wrong.