Speaker: Democratic Party of Virginia
Statement: “The proposed House budget cuts hundreds of millions in funding for public education…”
Date: April 4
Setting: News launch
Virginia’s Democratic Party says the Republican-controlled House of Delegates desires to intestine funding for public faculties.
“This session, Republicans launched attack after attack on Virginia’s public schools, teachers and students,” the celebration stated in an April 4 information launch.
“They have repeatedly threatened to defund public education and their budget is proof of their true intentions. The proposed House budget cuts hundreds of millions in funding for public education, including gutting teacher pay raises by 20% and slashing tens of millions in funding for early childhood education.”
We’ll focus this truth verify on the Democrats’ central declare: “The proposed House budget cuts hundreds of millions in funding from public education.” It’s a extremely deceptive assertion that carries over to different claims the celebration makes.
The General Assembly is hashing out a brand new two-year state budget that can go into impact July 1. Former Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, proposed his closing budget in December 2021 – one month earlier than leaving workplace. The House and the Senate individually amended Northam’s plan, and every chamber authorised its personal two-year budget.
House and Senate budget negotiators at the moment are hammering out their variations. After the legislature approves a compromise, its budget will likely be despatched to the brand new governor, Republican Glenn Youngkin.
Virginia is brimming with money as revenues throughout pandemic-struck 2021 got here in 14% larger than predicted.
The Democrat-led Senate – following Northam’s lead – views the excess as a possibility to increase applications, particularly in education and psychological well being, with some room for tax reduction.
The Republican-led House – following Youngkin’s lead – is closely centered on slicing taxes and issuing rebates. Even so, the House’s budget would improve basic fund spending on education by 14.5% from the present two-year budget to the approaching two-year plan.
The present base budget for public faculties is $14.8 billion. The House would increase it to $16.95 billion within the subsequent biennial budget, a $2.15 billion enhance to education spending over the subsequent two fiscal years.
The Democrats’ math
How does the Democratic Party determine that the House budget cuts “hundreds of millions” from public education?
It doesn’t evaluate spending within the present budget to authorised House spending within the subsequent.
Instead, it compares the cash Northam proposed spending in his budget for the subsequent two years to the quantity the House authorised. The celebration doesn’t reveal that in its information launch, which was featured on the touchdown web page of its web site.
Northam proposed spending $17.2 billion typically funds for education for the subsequent two years – a $2.4 billion improve over the present budget. In different phrases, the celebration’s place to begin in claiming the House budget deeply cuts education is bolstered by $2.4 billion that hasn’t existed up to now.
Another solution to describe it: Northam proposed a $2.4 billion improve to education over the subsequent two years whereas the House authorised a $2.15 billion hike. That’s a $250 million distinction in new funding in education, not the quantity that would be cut.
At the danger of extra complication, the Senate has proposed $17.5 billion typically fund spending on education over the subsequent two years – an 18.2% improve over the earlier budget and $550 million extra than the House authorised. Negotiators are searching for a compromise.
Democratic Party particulars
The Democratic Party, searching for to again its declare, despatched us an inventory of education applications that the House budget would scale back in funding from Northam’s beneficial ranges. The listing underscores critical coverage variations between the House and Senate. But the House didn’t cut any of the cited applications from their present budget ranges. For instance:
- Northam’s budget proposed giving lecturers a 5% increase in every of the subsequent two faculty years. The House authorised a 4% increase every year with 1% bonuses.
- Northam sought $268 million in new funding to create extra spots for at-risk three-year-olds within the state’s preschool program. The House authorised a $59 million improve.
- The House rejected an $8 million Northam proposal to increase STEM applications.
- The House nixed a $22 million proposal to rent extra instructors to show English as a second language.
The Democratic Party of Virginia stated in a information launch, “The proposed House budget cuts hundreds of millions in funding for public education…”
The launch, featured on the celebration’s web site, creates the improper impression that the Republican-controlled House of Delegates desires to slash the state’s present education budget. To the opposite, the House has handed a brand new two-year state budget that would improve faculty spending by $2.15 billion – or 14.5% – over the present biennium.
What the celebration didn’t say, nonetheless, is that it was not evaluating spending ranges within the present two-year budget to these within the House-approved budget for the subsequent two-years. Instead, it in contrast the $17.2 billion that former Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam beneficial spending on education over the subsequent two years to the $16.95 billion the House has authorised.
The House sliced $250 million from Northam’s proposal. If Democrats had stated that, they’d have been appropriate. But it is deceptive to counsel that the House budget would cut Virginia’s precise spending on education.
We price the Democratic Party’s assertion False.
Democratic Party of Virginia, News launch, April 4, 2022
Joseph Flores, “Economic Outlook and Revenue Forecast,” Dec. 16, 2021
Ralph Northam, Budget invoice, Dec. 16, 2021
Email from Gianni Snidle. Press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia, April 6, 2022
Interview with Snidle and Nicky Zamostny, legislative advisor for Democratic Party of Virginia, April 6, 2022
House 2022 budget amendments, Items 129# 4h, 131 #1h, 136 #9h, 137 #3h, 137 #9h, 137 #10h, 129 #1h, 137 #11h, 137 #13h, 137 #18h, 137 #20h
House Appropriations Committee, “An Overview of Virginia’s Biennial Budget for FY2022 – FY 2024,” Jan. 12, 2022
Legislative Information System, Virginia budget, 2021
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