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16 August 2010

Barnes Blames School Cuts on the "Other Team," But His Team Voted For Them Too

Monday afternoon, the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes tweeted, "Other team has cut $4B from schools last 8 yrs. How much from your school district?"

The so-called "other team" the Barnes campaign refers to in the tweet is obviously the Republican team.

The Barnes campaign is claiming that, over the last eight years, the Sonny Perdue-led Republican team cut $4 billion from education. That may be true.

However, all that cutting and slashing that Barnes is decrying on Twitter and his campaign web site was implicitly supported by Democrats in the General Assembly through their votes for every budget since Gov. Perdue took office in 2003.

You see, education funding for Georgia is found in the budgets passed by the state legislature.

From 2003 until the present, most Democrats voted "Yea" on the appropriations bills containing the $4 billion in education cuts that Roy Barnes blames on the "other team."

Below is a table detailing the number of Democrats who voted against the Perdue budgets laden with cuts to schools and education:


Democrats voting
against
# of Democrats in
Georgia General Assembly
House Bill 948
(FY 2010 General)
31
97
House Bill 119
(FY 2009 General)
44
97
House Bill 947
(FY 2009 Supplemental)
31
97
House Bill 990
(FY 2008 General)
2
98
House Bill 118
(FY 2008 Supplemental)
2
97
House Bill 95
(FY 2007 General)
1
98
House Bill 989
(FY 2007 Supplemental)
0
98
House Bill 1027
(FY 2006 General)
3
98
House Bill 94
(FY 2006 Supplemental)
0
98
House Bill 85
(FY 2005 General)
46
98
House Bill 1026
(FY 2005 Supplemental)
0
98
House Bill 1181
(FY 2004 General)
11
133
House Bill 84
(FY 2004 Supplemental)
23
98
House Bill 122
(FY 2003 General)
10
133
House Bill 1180
(FY 2003 Supplemental)
5
133
House Bill 121
(FY 2002 Supplemental)
5
133

[SOURCE: Georgia General Assembly]

So the cuts proposed by the "other team" were largely supported by the Democratic team. And we should tell the truth about that.

The truth is that both Democrats and Republicans voted to cut billions from education.

These cuts were made, not because of any enmity towards schools in Georgia, but as an effect of the state going through tough economic times where dollars were not available to keep education funding at the previous year's levels.