It’s long known that Joy Behar doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good rant, so it wasn’t surprising earlier this week when she uncorked a whopper on The View.
“[Republicans] have been spending the last few decades defunding education,” Behar said.
Conservatives may have wished the federal government would spend less on education, but it simply hasn’t happened. In fact, U.S. spending on education has increased 280 percent in constant dollars since 1960, according to Corey DeAngelis of the Reason Foundation and Cato Institute.
Annual per-student spending in the U.S. ranges from $23,091 in New York City to $21,974 in Washington, D.C., down to $7,179 per student in Utah, which has the highest percentage of children among its population of any state.
Federal spending on education totaled nearly $60 billion in fiscal 2019. Total expenditures on education — state, federal and local – were $706 billion or $13,487 per student in constant 2017-18 dollars. That is about 40 percent more than the average member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Federal spending has climbed in all but four years since the 1980s and jumped nearly 50 percent in the early 2000s because of No Child Left Behind.
Spending has increased in every state over the last five years with eight states increasing their spending by more than 2 percent.
It’s not Democrat-run states that have enacted the largest increases either. Among the eight at 2 percent or more are deeply red Texas, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming, as well as moderate states such as Arizona and Colorado. Of the 11 states that have increased spending by less than 1 percent, six have Democrat governors.
In short, there have been brief blips over the years in which education funding dropped from one year to the next – the federal expenditure in 2019 was 8 percent less than that of 2018 and was part of a huge spending package approved by both parties.
There have been no decades of funding cuts by Republicans or anyone else. Joy Behar is just plain wrong.