Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton Recklessly Attacks Gov. Bev Perdue’s K-12 Education Budget for this Year

May 15th, 2012 by

Raleigh- Well, not by name. But in his victory speech Tuesday night he said this concerning the Republican budget’s “extreme cuts” to public education:

“But with Pat McCrory and the Republican leadership in the legislature, North Carolina has lost its vision and the people have lost opportunities and our present and our future have been damaged. This legislature, with Pat McCrory’s encouragement, has limited opportunity by cutting education unduly…

I don’t believe our classrooms are full of fraud and waste. I think about that second-grade teacher who has not had a raise in the past three years – but who continues to spend a good chunk of her salary on classroom supplies. She’s seen her class sizes grow larger and, thanks to the Republican budget this year, no longer has a teacher assistant to help her educate tomorrow’s workers and leaders. I say to all of North Carolina, we can do better.”

However, Governor Perdue’s proposed budget for K-12 public education was only about $15 million (2 tenths of one percent) more than the 2011- 12 K-12 education budget the legislature actually adopted over her veto. So, why would Lt. Governor Walter Dalton not blast Governor Perdue over her budget as well? Here are the facts on the K-12 Education Budget for 2011-12.

There is less than 1 percent difference between the direct appropriations for K-12 public education budget than the Governor proposed. The nominal difference is 1.43 percent directly appropriated in the ratified budget. But after taking into account that the More at Four Program was shifted to the Department of Health and Human Services ($65,011,651 was taken from the Department of Public Instruction and used by the Department Health and Human Services) for prekindergarten programs the adjusted difference is 0.57 percent.

But another adjustment needs to be made: The General Assembly provided $28,261,830 more to counties in lottery money for a final difference of $14, 947,374. This is 0.19 percent out of a total appropriation of $7,707,586,791 for the Governor and $7,692,639,417 for the General Assembly. The General Assembly appropriated 99.8 percent of what the Governor asked for K-12 education for 2011-12.

In providing a balanced budget during an extraordinary difficult economy, the Assembly provided only about $15 million less than the Governor even requested. That is less than a rounding error.