“You Deserve To Know The Truth”

Perdue launched a website (announcing it with this rather humorous TV ad) to counter any claims made by the Taylor camp.

The website, www.youdeservetoknowthetruth.com now contains information countering a claim made by Taylor in this ad about education funding. Perdue’s website contains the graphic below showing education funding at an all time high in Georgia. I spoke with Rep. Brooks Coleman, Chairman of the House Education committee about this and he, not surprisingly, confirmed this information.

Education Funding

So what about all this? Has Sonny undermined Mark’s claim that education has been drastically cut?


  1. jonf says:

    What is the “austerity reduction” treatment in the chart? Is this gross or net of the pull back, that has occurred annually, in the QBE allocations.

    The real figure I would like to see, although I suspect it doesn’t exist, is a consolidated look at local property tax mil hikes that happened to make up for the austerity reduction.

    During Sonny’s term, my county has lost millions in this line item reduction and subsequently raised the millage to cover it.

  2. Jeff Emanuel says:

    It appears, as we all knew, that government budgets are increasing in real dollar amounts in nearly every area, education included.

    However, the claim that funding was “cut” from a program these days often refers to a decrease in the expected funding increase from one fiscal year to the next.

    By not specifying whether the so-called “cuts” refer to a decrease from the previous year’s budget, or a smaller increase in a departmental budget, unfortunately, both claims can be simultaneously correct.

  3. Mojo says:

    What is that old saying, there are three types of lies, lies, damn lies and statistics? Or, something to that effect. I think the “cuts” in education or not actually cuts, in that, lets say hypothetically, the previous education budget was 200 million and Perdue cuts it to 180 million. That isn’t how Perdue cut education. The cuts are that Perdue has not kept pace with the monetary needs for Georgia education. In that his budgets have not kept pace with more and more children and higher prices for supplies and maintenance and operation of the educational infrastructure.

    Example: the previous year education budget was 200 million, increases in class size, prices and costs mandate that the education budget, to meet these needs, should be 250 million. Perdue authorizes 235 million. So, according to a graph produced by buzz it would appear as though Perdue has consistently increases education spending, but he is actually shortchanging education, and this would be apparent if the education budget distributed was on the same graph as the education budget mandated (or needed).

    As a side note, notice the major upswing in the budget provided by Perdue once we hit 2006, and the promised budget of 2007. This would fit in with the idea that he is not increasing the budget to meet the need. From 2002 to 2004 there is an actual drop in the education budget. Am I to believe that Georgia had less students in 2004 than in 2002? Am I to believe that costs of textbooks and upkeep of the schools dropped from 2002 to 2004? Nothing else in this society did.

    Then from 2004 to 2005 there is a minor increase in the education budget. Then, of course, the important year rolls around, 2006 an election year and suddenly there is a major increase. Perdue thinks we’re all stupid and will not realize this pandering for what it is and, sadly, he is right that many will not see how he has shortchanged Georgia education.

  4. LymanHall says:

    Sonny cut $1.6 billion in education. Sonny did. He may have put some of it back in the election year session, but he still cut $1.6 billion.

    Note: the graph the Guv supplies is very qualified. Its only K-12. Doesn’t include colleges, universities, and technical schools. What does “direct student spending” mean? I’m sure MT will be able to trumpet out a chart that shows a different picture.

  5. GetReal says:

    I think the problem with Sonny’s argument is that his own budgets have line items for cuts to the state support of local school districts.

    Hard to spin that one away.

  6. stephaniemills21 says:

    The lottery cannot (at least in theory) be used for anything other than HOPE, capital improvements, the Pre-K program, and technology for the schools. It is mandated what the money can be spent on, though when reserves were flush the legislature became very loose with that interpretation. Sonny also played loose with the rules when he started a website with the money.

    Now for the chart. It is complete and utter bullshit. The whole idea that the Perdue administration increased school funding is laughable. Yes, in actual dollars spent there was more money, but the schools were funded at a lower rate than before.

    Something like over 100 school districts raised their millage rates to cover the cuts. All that while the school experienced increases in operating costs. Costs for transportation and climate control in the schools would have skyrocketed during this time. I remember when I moved to GA at the end of the Barnes admin and i could get gas for about $1.25 in Atlanta. Now, we are all happy about paying $2.00. The cost of heating my house has also gone up significantly. So during the time that Perdue cut money to the schools, their fuel costs for transportation and heating at least doubled. Add to that the mandates brought down by NCLB and you have schools scraping by to educate our students. Sounds like education has been anything but a priority to me.

    Also, Buzz, the folks on this board are pretty well educated (at least most of us) and can see through the smoke screens put up by both sides. Please do not insult our intelligence with stuff like this. This is almost as bad as Andre going after Cagle for some campaign finance stuff that happened over ten years ago.

  7. Demonbeck says:

    According to this graph funding appropriated for education has enjoyed roughly a $1 billion dollar increase over four years. Since when did an increase in spending become a $1 billion dollar cut?

    Is there any correlation between this thinking and Georgia’s horrid math scores? Are there stats separating the children of Republicans and those of Democrats?

    “I am sorry Billy, but you are wrong. 2+2 no longer equals 4. You forgot to account for inflation, health insurance costs and new social programs. 2+2 now equals 6.”

  8. Mojo says:


    How about underfunding rather than cut? You seem to be getting hung up on that term. Is it easier to understand now?

  9. Demonbeck says:

    I’m not the one saying that Sonny Perdue cut education funding by $1 billion dollars, when, in fact he increased education funding by $1 billion. I can guarantee you that the majority of Georgians would understand my side of the story much better.

  10. buzzbrockway says:

    Isn’t education always underfunded? In other words, if education spending had increased $2 billion, wouldn’t Mark Taylor still be claiming Perdue had “cut” education? I think he would.

    Of course, the economic reality of the past few years only allowed a $1 billion increase yet somehow SAT scores improved, graduation rates are up etc…

    Perhaps spending isn’t the only factor for success.

  11. Demonbeck says:

    You know, the other day I cam home and there were pine cones on my lawn. I promptly took out my wallet and threw it at each pine tree in my yard. Surprisingly, there were still pine cones there after taking this action. I guess my wallet isn’t big enough to fix this problem.

  12. jonf says:

    An increase in real dollars is not how education funding is measured by the state. Sonny is trying to fool everyone with an apples to oranges comparison.

    Funding levels are measured by student population ratios using the QBE formula. I know this is difficult for some to “get”, but it is possible to increase funding in real dollars and cut a counties allocation at the same time.

    The “austerity reductions” each year have reduced those allocations to the tune of a billion dollars over Sonny’s term. They use QBE to determine what a “basic” amount is, and then they reduce it. That is a cut.

    You can argue the QBE and it’s formulation, but can’t argue that dollars were cut from what the state has established as a “basic” level.

    Those dollars don’t just disappear. They are recovered by counties who increase property taxes to cover the delta. Sonny has shifted the burden to local BOE’s, and that has manifested itself in the form of a tax increase.

  13. ugavi says:

    I’m a simple person. Taylor says $1B is cut. The chart saws Sonny added $1B. The chart makes sense to the average voter. Think Ross Perot

  14. Demonbeck says:

    Apparently, my analogy wasn’t enough for some. The moral of the story is, “Oftentimes, throwing money at a problem does nothing to solve it.”

  15. buzzbrockway says:

    All but about $180 million of the austerity reductions were restored last year, so not only is overall spending on education up, but the so called “billion dollar cut” has almost completely been restored.

    As to your point that property taxes were raised, I can only speak to what I know. In Gwinnett we did not see any increase on the school portion of our property taxes until this year (they held the millage rate constant), after the money was largely restored.

    It should also be pointed out that the austerity reductions began under Roy Barnes.

  16. Fogle says:

    “You know, the other day I cam home and there were pine cones on my lawn.”

    Demonbeck’s opinion may be correct. Apparently, though, his spell check is broken.

    Apparently, my analogy wasn’t enough for some. The moral of the story is, “Oftentimes, throwing money at a problem does nothing to solve it.

  17. Demonbeck says:


    I would have money in my wallet, if I didn’t have to send my son to private school in Georgia to get a good education.

    Maybe then I could afford to fix my spell check that obviously missed the “e” in “came.”

  18. Fogle says:


    Haha! You’re the man… just felt like ragging on you even though you always stick up for me.

    Especially the misspelling after you called that guy out on another post. Anyway, keep rocking!

  19. Demonbeck says:

    Also, if anyone wants to come by and pick up one of these famous pine cones, they are for sale – cheap.

  20. Fogle says:

    “Also, if anyone wants to come by and pick up one of these famous pine cones, they are for sale – cheap.”

    Trying to make a little money to throw at the pine trees? What a vicious cycle.

  21. Donkey Kong says:

    Since when is it posh for a conservative to brag about increasing spending on a government program by $1 billion?

    Money isn’t the problem. Based on research by GPPF, Altanta was paying the highest cost per high school student in comparable cities. That research is 15 years old. However, I heard similar numbers stated back in 2002. I couldn’t find the 2002 numbers, and I’d be interested in seeing that data for 2006. I know it exists, I just simply don’t have the time right now to dig it up. Regardless, money is not the reason why our kids are not learning.

    Ultimately, responsibility falls on parents to ensure their children are learning what they are taught in school. If the teaching our kids are receiving at school is not being backed-up at home, then our kids will not learn and will consistently underperform.

    I think we all know the failures of government programs (I am reminded every time I visit the post office). Why do we insist that government-run education will be any better? When will we learn that increasing the budget of a government program only creates more problems?

    If the government continues taxing us for school, at least give parents and kids the option of vouchers for private schools along with a guarantee that the government will not use those vouchers as a means to regulate private education.

  22. Donkey Kong says:

    (sorry to sound preachy, but honestly, why are we excited about $1 billion in increased spending?!??!?!? It’s doomed to fail!!)

  23. Bill Simon says:


    Are these pine cones used to make Grape Nuts like Euell Gibbons used to eat? 🙂

    (now there’s a memory test fer ya…anyone born after 1980 will not likely understand the reference)

  24. Fogle says:

    “… anyone born after 1980 will not likely understand the reference.”

    Anyone one before 1970might not want to date temselves.

  25. Mad Dog says:

    I wanted to make a serious comment on this issue of budgeting.

    The county level information is available for every county in Georgia.

    The break out can be had in federal dollars, county dollars, and state dollars.

    I did three counties in the summer of 2005.

    Lumpkin, Hall, and Habersham.

    I can’t speak to state wide trends, issues, or campaign generated charts.

    The amount of money being spent per graduating senior is huge. More than a hundred thousand dollars per grad.

    I don’t think I kept my research. It took a couple weeks.

    I can look for a back-up but if you saw the files on my computer. Yuck!

    At the time, I was a volunteer working for a state party committee member.

    The bottom line of the research, not knowing what analysis was going to be used, … supported Democratic assumptions of the time.

    Meaning, that state person jumped up and down for joy when I handed over the info.

    Again, to be clear, I didn’t see the analysis. I generated information on only Hall, Habersham, and Lumpkin Counties.

    All I saw was the raw data and the reaction to it.

    Is it worth my time to look for my backup? I’ll look if someone wants it.


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