Fact Check 2014: Did Malloy Cut Funding to Education?
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley told WFSB’s Dennis House on Sunday that Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has cut funding to schools and municipalities during his tenure as governor.
“He’s pulled back spending on schools,” Foley told House.
It’s a statement he also made during his acceptance speech Saturday at the nominating convention.
Malloy’s “spending on schools has declined partly because he’s pulled back aid to schools, aid to towns, excuse me,” Foley told House. “. . . We have many schools in Connecticut that aren’t doing a good enough job. We have some 120,000 young people in schools not getting a decent education.”
According to the bipartisan Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the state increased municipal aid by $92.5 million in 2012, which included a boost of $37.6 million in education funding. In 2013, municipal aid increased $93.6 million, which included an $87.7 million increase in education funding and a $5.9 million increase in non-education funding. In 2014, municipal aid increased by $100.7 million, which included a $99.2 million increase in education funding.
In the most recent budget for fiscal year 2015, the budget adds $48 million to the Education Cost Sharing grant and allocates an additional $20 million in funding for municipalities that lose revenue tied to tax-exempt property.
After being asked for further clarification about how he arrived at his conclusion, Foley said he’s looking beyond the raw numbers.
According to Foley, education spending as a percentage of the overall budget hasn’t grown as quickly as other spending, but he admits it has increased.
“Under Governor Malloy’s administration, state funding to public schools has been reduced as a share of the total budget,” Foley said in a statement Monday. “Specifically, spending on appropriations to the Department of Education has gone up by 10.5 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2015, while overall state expenditures grew by 16.7 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2015.”
But what Foley told House was that Malloy cut education and municipal spending. However, that’s certainly not the case when it comes to the last four years.
When talking about cuts in state government to specific line items, it means there is less money in that account than the year before, which makes Foley’s claim Malloy is cutting spending on education and local governments false or hokum.