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Civic Federation confirms that state school spending rose under Quinn

Thursday, Oct 16, 2014

* Bruce Rauner has not stopped repeating his claim that Gov. Pat Quinn has cut education spending by $500 million, even though I wrote recently in Crain’s Chicago Business that his statement was the “most easily disprovable falsehood of this year’s gubernatorial campaign.”

Well, the Civic Federation did its own analysis and came to the same conclusion I did. State education spending has gone up, not down

General Funds spending on education in FY2010 is shown in budget documents as $7.3 billion. But that number includes $790.8 million in federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Some analysts might deduct that amount to maximize comparability, which would reduce the General Funds figure for FY2010 to $6.5 billion. Based on that calculation, General Funds spending on education increases by $358 million to $6.8 billion in FY2015. Similarly, budget documents in FY2009 show education spending at $7.4 billion, but that amount includes $1.0 billion of stimulus funding. Deducting that amount results in General Funds spending of $6.3 billion in FY2009 and an increase of $522 million to $6.8 billion in FY2015.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

66 Comments
  1. - QCLib - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Can’t blame a guy for trying I guess. At least it’s almost over.


  2. - Mighty M. Mouse - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Surprise, surprise.

    Rich knows what he’s talking about.

    Who’d have thunk?


  3. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    The Rauner campaign has demonstrated a consistent difficulty with arithmetic. Witness his budget “plan.”


  4. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Seems like a silly thing for the Rauner campaign to double down on when it’s so easily debunked.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    Rauner’s Crew M.O.;

    “It’s false, false, bunch of lies. Pat Quinn is the worst governor in America, and we will double down on the falsehood we have, because being truthful destroys our narrative.”

    Honesty and integrity, ethics and morals…

    Double-down on a proved falsehood? Right, exactly right.


  6. - PolPal56 - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    “Math class is tough!” Barbie, 1992


  7. - uptown progressive - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    Like in his business dealings, Rauner is only responsible for things that go well. Someone on his campaign staff must have done this after he left the room. He personally is honest - it is those people around him . . .


  8. - NewWestSuburbanGOP'er - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    I was yelling at Rauner while watching the debates the other night, saying, “Don’t you read Capitalfax? -Rich already told us the truth.”


  9. - MikeMacD - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    I’m guessing that with Mr. Rauner’s fellow travelers, this is known as salesmanship.


  10. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Wow, a heavily right-wing organization cries bullhockey on Rauner. Is this becoming a “Democrats for Nixon” moment? (Without the “Nixon” connotation part of course.)


  11. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    The Quinn campaign has done a tremendous job so far and seems to be almost singlehandedly keeping Quinn in the race. This is more fodder for the campaign, for new ads that target key voters in Cook County.


  12. - Norseman - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Rauner campaign to the Civic Federation: You’re not helping!


  13. - Langhorne - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Bruce: who you gonna believe? Me, or your lyin’ eyes?
    Quinn is bad, you can’t believe him.


  14. - Belle - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Rich is right!
    Rauner should know exactly how much is being spent since his Charter Schools are making money for him. If spending isn’t going up, what are his Charter Lobbyists doing?


  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    “When there’s a conflict between partisan belief and plain evidence, it’s the beliefs that win.” — Marty Kaplan


  16. - Big Joe - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Guess Rauner was absent during all his math classes while in elementary school. How can such a rich man be such a big buffoon??


  17. - haverford - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    Unfortunately, I think that many here are assuming this news will matter to Mr. Rauner. He’s put forward a ‘budget plan’ that is even more easily debunked (again, thanks Rich) - and is just going with it because ALL OF THE MONEY buys a lot of ads, true or not.

    Now if the Quinnsters can get the stations to stop running Rauner’s ads with the attack because it’s demonstrably false, then it’ll matter. And… yield another good ad for Quinn.


  18. - walker - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Both Civies have pretty much stayed away from Rauner’s budget plans and claims, because they can do the arithmetic.

    Wasn’t this the one where Bruce’s campaign spokesman said he would “keep correcting” Rich?


  19. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    ==- Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 9:45 am:==

    His campaign can count on most of the media to ignore it and repeat his lies, so why not?


  20. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    skeptic, the Civic Federation is hardly a “heavily right-wing organization”.


  21. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    ==The Rauner campaign has demonstrated a consistent difficulty with arithmetic. Witness his budget “plan.”==

    Agreed. I’d love to see a calculator at the next debate.


  22. - VM - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    I thought that this would be the better question for Quinn to ask at the Urban League debate: “You’ve said repeatedly that I cut education by $500 million, including during this debate. That claim has been repeatedly debunked and is false. Will you acknowledge that education spending did not decrease?”

    The thing is, that while Rauner may have used that question to repeat the lie at the debate, Quinn would win the fact check war. And quite frankly, you never get your opponent to really answer your question at a debate; all it’s good for is setting up the next day spin. It seems to me that the spin that Rauner can’t tell the truth is better than arguing over what the courts ruled in LeapSource.


  23. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    Hey Rich - Any response from the Rauner campaign?


  24. - Phenomynous - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Why was Fed stimulus money counted as General Funds?


  25. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    The falsehood is not what is troubling most. What troubles me most, and by far the most damaging to the credibility of Rauner and his crew…is continuing to peddle what is proven to be false.

    That is the beef I have; the continuation and doubling down, it’s far worse than rolling it out, let it fester, and then let it die on the vine.

    That is a character and honesty issue, starting from the Principle, to the Senior Crew. It’s beyond the actual truth or not, it’s a character flaw seen through the chance to be truthful.


  26. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    “Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true. Facts schmacts.” — Homer J. Simpson “Lisa the Skeptic” (1997)


  27. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    ==Why was Fed stimulus money counted as General Funds?==

    That’s where it was deposited I’m assuming.


  28. - wak - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    “most easily disprovable falsehood of this year’s gubernatorial campaign.” Where were the debate moderators earlier in the week on this? Rauner asserted this same easily disprovable lie a number of times in the recent debate. I hope that moving forward the rest of the media doesn’t let him get away with such an easily debunked lie.


  29. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Steve: Really? I’ve always seen them as the typical “cut spending/cut taxes/waste/fraud/abuse” crowd. I’ve met Laurence, maybe it’s because I’m so far left, but he struck me as being pretty far right (although I agree, not whacko TEA-party right.)


  30. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    skeptic, before the tax increase they had been saying we need a tax increase in Illinois


  31. - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    So we subtract $1.7 billion in stimulus spending for 2009/2010 received from the Federal Government. So over a 7 year span education spending in Illinois increased on an average of slightly more than $5 million a year? Did I get that math pretty much correct?

    This is something to brag about? Do we all need to run outside and do cartwheels of joy?

    No problems in education funding in Illinois. Just move along. Nothing to see here.


  32. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Louis: I don’t see anyone doing cartwheels. I just see people being justified in calling Rauner a liar.


  33. - Federalist - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Interesting that “Education” is talked about, public universities are conveniently forgotten.

    I must admit I have not done the research but I would not be too that budgets given to the individual universities from GRF have been static or even declined over these years.


  34. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    @Louis:

    The specific claim was the education spending DECLINED $500 million when it didn’t. That’s the beef. The fact that what Rauner’s campaign is saying is a verifiable lie.

    Your point is well taken, however.


  35. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Fed, you would be right, thereby imposing a huge, hidden, middle class tax increase. There is need-based aid for the truly poor, and $10,000 tuition increases don’t mean much to the truly affluent, but the middle class has been almost priced out of our best public university, and done great harm at most of the others


  36. - JS Mill - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    @steve schnorf- While I understand the economic impact of tuition increases are greater on middle income families than it is on upper income families, they are both paying the same tuition so it is not a middle class tax increase. Your point on being priced out is well taken and becoming a reality for many. That or it is driving larger student debt obligations for many.


  37. - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    $5 million average per year divided up amongst roughly 1,700 school districts in this state is an average of $3,000 per district, give or take a few nickels or dimes.

    Why am I not impressed?


  38. - A guy... - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    === steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    skeptic, the Civic Federation is hardly a “heavily right-wing organization”.====

    Allow me to “second” this very, very obvious point.


  39. - A guy... - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    If the Quinn campaign owns the “franchise” on the truth, it would come as news to me. I hate when campaigns get to this point. The truth is always the first casualty and both sides, all the way up and down the ticket are showing little regard for it. Sadly, that’s not news.


  40. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    JS, let me restate it to a “huge, hidden,heavily regressive on the middle class” tax increase. Is that closer?


  41. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    I must throw in that in Chicago, the CF is not known as a bastion of liberal idealogy folks…

    They tend to be on the conservative side when it comes to economic policy opines…


  42. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    ==- Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:16 am:==

    Are you impressed by your preferred candidate repeating a complete falsehood about education funding day after day?


  43. - Federalist - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Fed, you would be right, thereby imposing a huge, hidden, middle class tax increase. There is need-based aid for the truly poor, and $10,000 tuition increases don’t mean much to the truly affluent, but the middle class has been almost priced out of our best public university, and done great harm at most of the others

    That would be my opinion also.

    Did some checking on IBHE.org. GRF funding to public universities totaled $1,393.8 billion in 2009 and decreased to $1,293.9 billion by 2012. Quinn’s proposed budget for 2014 was $1,169 billion for 2014.


  44. - jimbo2 - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    - Louis G Atsaves - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    “So over a 7 year span education spending in Illinois increased on an average of slightly more than $5 million a year?”

    Not sure how you get this number. I see more than $300 million over 5 years and over 500 million over 6 years. Rates of more than 60 and 80 million a year respectively.


  45. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    It is a fair accounting given that Republicans wholly criticized the federal stimulus package.


  46. - TCB - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    @Jimbo

    Just let him go, he’s in a roll.

    He also referenced “1700 school districts” which is literally double the number of districts.


  47. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    == state school spending == or == school spending ==

    As Rich has pointed out, use of the term == state == in that phrase makes all the difference.


  48. - downstate hack - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    Okay massive increases in educational spending, but educational standards and performance sinking since 1990.


  49. - Demoralized - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    All I can say is that I hope if Rauner wins he hires a guy as Budget Director who is a bit better at math than his campaign seems to be.


  50. - jimbo2 - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    - downstate hack - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    And, the point of this distractor is?

    1) It’s the fault of the schools
    2) It’s the fault of the dems
    3) It’s Quinn’s fault
    4) It’s kids today……

    ??


  51. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    OW, when you get elected, I hope you can coax Schnorf out of retirement to be your budget director.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    ===OW, when you get elected, I hope you can coax Schnorf out of retirement to be your budget director.===

    Wouldn’t have it ANY other way, - AA -.

    Period.

    You and - RNUG -, I would hope are my fiscal Kitchen Cabinet, and the three of you keep me focused on the realities.


  53. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    OW: Can I be your Deputy Director of Snarky Comments?


  54. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    - Skeptic -

    “While formulating a Kitchen Cabinet is important for voters to see the people I would like assisting the Administration, it would be very premature to measure drapes with so much work to be done before Election Day.

    It would be safe to speculate the Capitol Fax Commenter Pool will be a place the Administration would look for outstanding candidates, it’s also a personnel decision that others will assist in finding quality candidates. I must continue to focus at the task at hand, getting the voters of Illinois educated about the campaign, and having a strong close to this candidacy.”

    Cool? lol


  55. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    - OW -,

    I won’t be cheap. At minimum it will take an office with a window and a parking space to get me out of retirement.

    LOL !


  56. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    ===I won’t be cheap. At minimum it will take an office with a window and a parking space to get me out of retirement.===

    That’s the easy part.

    As Henry Fonda said in “In Harms Way” when promoting John Wayne, I would say to you as we enter your office with a window…

    “Well, we gave him the molasses. Now let’s feed him the sulfur.”

    lol

    You’re worth the price.


  57. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Fine, I get it. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. [pouts and leaves]


  58. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 4:03 pm:

    (BTW, I commend you on the eloquence of the DCUWCY message) (And I pouted and left with a smile)


  59. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 4:03 pm:

    - Skeptic -

    I can’t talk about patronage…

    …yet.


  60. - Anon. - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==It would be safe to speculate the Capitol Fax Commenter Pool will be a place the Administration would look for outstanding candidates, it’s also a personnel decision that others will assist in finding quality candidates.==

    Ok, ok, this isn’t a campaign stop. You’re among friends. How much, and to which daughter do we make out the check?


  61. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    - Skeptic -,

    Just “look above” and see why I won’t talk about patronage.


  62. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    OW: Good point. I want to earn the position on my merits.


  63. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 6:55 pm:

    AA, I see I’ve p____d you off again


  64. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 16, 14 @ 6:59 pm:

    - steve schnorf -,

    My sincere hope your conclusion is based on the job, and all the hard work it entails, not the requester of your services(?)

    Not many hold a candle to you.

    Much respect. OW


  65. - Roadiepig - Friday, Oct 17, 14 @ 8:05 am:

    Willy- now that your election looks likely, I am willing to offer myself to be your director of IDOT. With my 30+ years of experience, plus my “overly generous” pension, I can also work for no salary. As a bonus, if the time comes and you are I a heated reelection battle, I will gladly throw myself under any bus needed to insure you victory ;-)


  66. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 17, 14 @ 8:12 am:

    - Roadiepig -,

    The only thing I will directly address is that people are thrown under the bus, usually, if others are looking for seats “on the bus”, if you know what I mean.

    I own it, I eat it, don’t worry about “under the bus” issues in the Administration.


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