I sent in the following letter to the N&O, in response to the whopper told in this editorial.
The N&O editors, in discussing public education funding in the FY 2011-12 state budget passed last summer, printed an outright lie (Perdue’s Education Punch, March 21).
In the article, they claim the 2011-12 budget “ordered local school districts to return to the state a total of $429 million.” What they are referring to is called an “LEA (local education authority) Adjustment” in the budget. The 2011-12 budget does indeed include an LEA Adjustment, but it is $124.2 million – not the $429 million claimed by the N&O. The information is easily accessible online at: http://www.ncleg.net/sessions/2011/budget/2011/MoneyReport-5-31-11.pdf, on pg. F-1.
What the editors deceitfully did was to add in the LEA adjustment included in the previous year’s budget – signed by Gov. Perdue – which totaled $304 million. Amazingly, the N&O editors add these together and attribute the entire $429 adjustment to this year’s budget.
Moreover, the N&O’s outrage was curiously absent when Perdue’s budget “ordered local school districts to return to the state” $304 million last year.
A robust, fact-based discussion about public education in North Carolina is welcome. Sadly, the N&O editors want to leave out the facts.
A call to the N&O’s editorial department inquiring into how they justify using the $429 million figure has gone unanswered.