Washington Post “fact checks” Gary Johnson’s “claim that states operate at a deficit because of federal education requirements”

Gary Johnson (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Kolczynski

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee, WashingtonPost.com, June 9th, 2016:

“The Department of Education gives every state about 11 cents out of every school dollar that every state spends, but it comes with 15 cents’ worth of strings attached. So it’s really a negative to take federal money. You know, you’ve got to accomplish A, B, C and D to receive your 11 cents, but it costs you 15 cents to do it.”

–Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, interview on MSNBC, May 31, 2016

Johnson won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president on May 29. Since then, he and his running mate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, have been appearing in television interviews sharing their views on everything from the 1964 Civil Rights Act to the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

During one of the interviews, Johnson resurrected a claim about federal education requirements and state spending that he used during the 2012 presidential election. We took a look at what the facts are underlying this claim.

The Facts

Johnson is on track when it comes to the 11 cent figure. The National Education Association data of school revenue sources for public K-12 schools show that local and state sources comprise the majority of school funding. The breakdown in 2014-15: 9.2 percent (federal), 46.4 percent (state), and 44.4 percent (local). Depending on the calculation and the year used, federal share has ranged from 9 to 11 percent in recent years (and even dating to about 2005).

Read the rest of the article here. 

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