By Catharine Richert
A July 20, 2010, Minnesota Public Radio debate, DFL gubernatorial hopefuls Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Mark Dayton sparred over the state's K-12 funding record.
Dayton said that in inflation adjusted dollars, funding for schools had declined. Kelliher disagreed.
"In the four years that I've been Speaker, we have increased funding for K-12 education by $1.6 billion," she said.
Kelliher's correct. Education spending did rise while she was House speaker.
Ask Kelliher's campaign where they get their numbers, and they'll point to Minnesota Management and Budget's annual forecast.
In the 2006-2007 biennium, schools got about $12.75 billion in state aid. In the 2012-2013 biennium, funding will have increased by $1.6 billion to $14.35.
Budget experts noted that school funding figures for the next budget cycle are merely projections; the Legislature may very well approve a different level of funding.
Nevertheless, funding for K-12 has increased by $1.6 billion cumulatively since Kelliher became House Speaker in 2007.
Cumulatively, Kelliher is correct that the Legislature has increased school funding by $1.6 billion under her watch.
Kelliher gets a passing grade on this education spending claim.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Midmorning, July 20, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, Price of Government, accessed Aug. 5, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund, Fund Balance Analysis: February 2007 Forecast, accessed Aug. 6, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund, Fund Balance Analysis: November 2006 Forecast, accessed Aug. 6, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund, Fund Balance Analysis: End of 2010 Legislative Session, Aug. 6, 2010
Minnesota Management and Budget, General Fund, Fund Balance Analysis: November 2009 Forecast, accessed Aug. 6, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Pawlenty uses stimulus money to reverse budget cuts, by Tim Pugmire, March 17, 2009
PoliGraph is a regular series of reports that checks the veracity of politicians' claims. It is a collaboration between Minnesota Public Radio News and the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.