News Story

Gubernatorial Candidate Makes Inaccurate Claim About Education Spending

Mark Schauer wrong; federal funding declined while state funding increased

Gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer erroneously said on WJR last week that an increase in funding under Gov. Rick Snyder for schools was due to federal dollars.

According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, state funding has increased every year under Gov. Snyder while federal funding has declined relative to his predecessor. 

From 2008-09 to 2010-11 – Gov. Granholm’s last three budgets – K-12 education received $6.4 billion from the feds. From 2011-12 to 2013-14 under Gov. Snyder, the feds have contributed $5.2 billion to K-12 education.

Yet, Schauer continued a Democratic storyline that Gov. Snyder has cut funding to K-12 education. The day after Gov. Snyder's State of the State speech, Schauer made his claim on Frank Beckmann's radio show on WJR.

"[The] governor is taking credit for a lot of federal money that is coming from the state. However, they want to argue there is increased funding from schools. It is federal money," Schauer said. "The actual state investment in education has fallen to the tune of a billion dollars."

Federal and state funding for K-12 education in Gov. Snyder's first year dropped by $240 million in 2011-12 from the previous year due to a $520 million cut in federal dollars, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency.

But state funding increased every year under Gov. Snyder.

Overall, state and federal funding for K-12 education has increased from $12.7 billion in 2011-12 to $13.4 billion in 2013-14, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. The state dollars spent on K-12 education has increased every year Gov. Snyder has been in office going from $11.01 billion in 2011-12 and $11.21 billion in 2012-13 to $11.60 billion in 2013-14, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency.

Federal funds still lag about $400 million behind what former Gov. Jennifer Granholm received in her last budget in 2010-11.

"Policymakers more than replaced the temporary federal funding with state tax dollars," said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "Let's hope that politicians change their rhetoric because there's no denying the substantial increase in state money going to education."

Schauer's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment.

(Editor's note: This story has been slightly edited since its original posting.)


See also:

The $2 Billion Education Funding Myth

Reality Check: Michigan Public Schools Getting More Money For Fewer Students

Michigan Schools Never Saw a $1 Billion Cut

Despite Fewer Students, Michigan School Funding Going Up, Up, Up

Michigan School Districts In Perpetual 'Funding Crisis'

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.