Groups on the left have been running ads saying that the Republicans have cut a billion dollars from the education budget while Republicans have been running ads saying they've added a billion dollars to the education budget. Both seem to be off, unless they are talking about future budgets that have yet to come to fruition.
The most recent full write-up of government spending on the State Budget Office site is the FY2013 budget. We're just a month past the end of FY2014, so it might be a bit before those figures are finalized.
I grabbed the figures for 2010 to 2013, to cover the year before Rick Synder took over to the most recent year available; the numbers below are in thousands of dollars-
|Education||% of FY2010||Total||% of Budget|
Going from 2010 to 2013, we see about a $400 million dollar drop in education spending on the state level, $655 million if we go from the 2011 budget that straddled the end of the Granholm era and the beginning of the Tough Nerd's reign. Not quite the billion that the MEA is crowing about, unless they are looking at a different data set than this.
I also don't see the billion dollars of added spending that Mt Pleasant's state rep's ad touted. From these numbers, the MEA seems to be closer to the truth, as much as I'd rather not admit that.
Even so, we're looking at under a 3% cut from the last Democratic-run budget. As a percentage of the overall budget, it's dropped by less than a percent since Synder took over. That's not going to make the MEA happy, to be sure, but in tough economic times, it doesn't seem particularly draconian.
Some of the trimming might be at the college level, since the K-12 budget for FY2015 that just started this month is at an all-time high, per this piece a Mackinac Center employee friend of mine just sent my way when I posited the question on Facebook.
In this area of Michigan, Synder is the only potential bum to throw out, since our state rep, state senate, US House and US Senate seats will all see new blood either way come January. The data doesn't beg for his ouster unless you were planning to vote Democratic regardless of the education budget data.