Mike Pence’s new book is called “So Help Me God,” so everything in it must be God’s truth, right? I won’t try to fact-check all 560 pages, but Pence’s claims about his education record as Indiana governor should get attention. And that part is mostly true.
He does bend the truth, however, with this statement: “All told during my term, Indiana had the single largest budget increase in K 12 education in its history.”
Pence made the same claim in 2016 when he was introduced as Donald Trump’s running mate. FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Institute, investigated and termed it misleading. It’s true that there were modest increases in state K-12 funding each year Pence was governor, FactCheck’s Lori Robertson notes; but, in constant dollars, those weren’t the biggest in history.
She consulted with Larry DeBoer, a Purdue economist and an expert on school and government finance in Indiana, who showed that, adjusted for inflation, Indiana’s K-12 budget peaked before Pence took office. “In real terms, and as a share of Indiana’s economy, education spending is a bit smaller than it was in 2010 and 2011,” DeBoer said at the conclusion of Pence’s term.
FactCheck was harsher with Hillary Clinton’s claim that Pence “slashed” education funding in Indiana, labeling it false. It did note that, under Pence, Indiana shifted funding to growing suburban districts; Indianapolis Public Schools lost $17 million as a result.Continue reading