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Debate over K-12 "lie" heats up in governor's race

Oct 5, 2014

KALAMAZOO – Gov. Rick Snyder is more forcefully countering what he calls "the big lie" in his re-election bid – charges that he cut $1 billion in education funding in 2011.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

His opponent, Democrat Mark Schauer, isn't shying away from the claim.

Whom voters trust on education funding could help determine the election. Both sides are airing TV ads featuring retired or current teachers with opposing stances.

The funding debate has overshadowed the candidates' other education policy differences on charter schools, cyber schools and Michigan's embattled K to 12 turnaround district.

State K-12 spending is up under Snyder and largely has helped to meet growing unfunded retirement liabilities. Snyder also pumped money into a program to help families afford preschool.

Democrats say there's not enough money going into the classroom for basic operations.