Politifact Virginia: Did Governor McDonnell raid education?

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Governor Bob McDonnell has made fixing Virginia's roads a big priority. So much so that Democrats have accused him of going too far.

David Mills, the executive director of the Democratic Party criticized McDonnell in a fundraising appeal by pointing to what he called: "Bob McDonnell's raid on public education to pay for roads."

Did the governor "raid" public education to fund transportation projects in the commonwealth? According the reporters at Politifact Virginia, that claim is "mostly true."

The problem for the governor is that education takes up huge portion of the state budget...almost 40%.

So if you take any portion of the budget and send it somewhere else...chances are education will take a hit.

For instance, the governor originally proposed taking $140 million in sales tax revenue from the general fund and sending it directly to roads.

If removed proportionally, $54 million would've been taken from education. That measure didn't pass.

However $150 million of surplus funds did pass and did go to transportation. Some of that could have gone to schools.

As the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Jacob Geiger explains, with so much of the budget dedicated to schools, moving money around almost always means education is impacted.

"Education is over 40% of the pie there so it is really hard to take money from the budget without impacting education because so much of that money already is earmarked to go to the schools," Geiger said.

And you can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com and you can see all our past reports on my political blog, www.decisionvirginia.com.

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