Independence Virginia PAC: “A Kick In The Teeth”

Independence Virginia PAC hits former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) over a set of cuts to public education he proposed during his tenure, paraphrasing a local supervisor to call the cuts “a kick in the teeth.” But the ad glosses over the devastating recession that cut short state revenues, forcing Kaine to propose tough cuts in virtually every sector, and the fact that Kaine’s successor approved a budget with even larger education cuts in order to avoid tax increases.

“Kick In The Teeth” Was Local Supervisor’s Reaction To Kaine’s Effort To Save Money And Protect Vulnerable School Districts

Virginia Uses A Complicated Formula To Determine How Much State Money Various School Districts Get For Education. From the Washington Post: “Virginia’s funding formula is meant to distribute money equitably, so poor districts get more school funding from Richmond and wealthy districts get less. The result is that the state currently pays for less than 25 percent of Fairfax school’s budget and closer to 80 percent for some other districts. Many in Northern Virginia have long found it unfair to shoulder such a large share of education costs locally and statewide. Every two years, the formula is recalculated, using updated data on enrollment, income, retail sales and real estate values.” [Washington Post, 1/11/10]

In 2010, Kaine Proposed Delaying Recalculation Of Formula To Save Money And Protect Vulnerable Virginia School Districts. From the Washington Post: “Gov. Timothy M. Kaine proposed a one-year delay in the regularly scheduled readjustment of the formula, a move that would prevent the influx of more than $120 million in additional state funds over the next year to cash-strapped schools in Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties. This fiscal year, Richmond is sending nearly $1 billion to those counties to fund operating costs in public schools. The fate of the so-called composite index is tied to the state budget process, which will be negotiated in the coming legislative session. Kaine proposed the one-year delay in part because it would save $30 million statewide. […] This year, for once, several Northern Virginia districts stood to gain significantly more in state funding, largely because of dramatic declines in the housing market. The news was welcomed by local school officials. But for more than 90 of the state’s 136 school districts, the readjustment meant a greater local burden, and Kaine’s proposal aimed to protect these vulnerable districts.” [Washington Post, 1/11/10]

  • “Kick In The Teeth” Was One Local Supervisor’s Reaction To Denying Money To Fairfax County. From the Washington Post: “Northern Virginia officials, facing unprecedented cuts in their prized school systems, are crying foul. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) called Kaine’s proposal a ‘kick in the teeth.’ ‘We have played by the rules,’ she said. ‘And it’s not fair to change the rules the very year that Fairfax would get some benefit from them.’” [Washington Post, 1/11/10]

Incoming GOP Gov. McDonnell’s Education Cuts Were Even Larger Than Cuts Kaine Proposed

Virginia’s Constitution Requires The Budget To Be Balanced Every Two Years, So Kaine Was Forced To Propose Cuts To Close Recession-Fueled Shortfalls. From “Virginia adopts a new budget every two years, and amendments are added to it in the odd year to square the numbers. There’s no question that Virginia experienced serious budget shortfalls during the recession due to much lower-than-anticipated revenues. But the shortfall was closed by the end of the biennium. The same Virginian-Pilot story in which Kaine talks about a $3.7 billion shortfall, notes that the stimulus provided $1 billion in budget relief, and that lawmakers were forced to cut $2.7 billion to balance the budget, as required by the state constitution. Responding to the ad on Nov. 10, Kaine told WVEC ABC 13: ‘I left office with two balanced budgets that I submitted because you have to, by law, submit balanced budgets.’” [, 11/15/11]

$357 Million In K-12 Education Cuts Were Just A Proposal That GOP Gov. McDonnell And GOP House Would Have Had To Approve. From the Associated Press: “Gov. Tim Kaine proposes decreasing state support for public schools by $357 million by 2012. […] The proposals are in a two-year state budget Kaine presented Friday. The plan struggles to reconcile a revenue shortfall of $3.6 billion from 2010 through 2012. […] The exiting Democrat’s proposal must win approval by an anti-tax Republican House and a Republican governor who succeeds him next month.” [Associated Press via, 12/18/09]

  • Proposal’s Overall Education Cuts Were $400 Million. From the Washington Post article cited in the ad: “Gov. Timothy M. Kaine launched a budget-balancing proposal Wednesday that would transform the commonwealth’s old-guard fiscal policies into ones that reflect the political conversion from red state to blue. […] In offering his budget amendments to the House and Senate money committees Wednesday, Kaine set about guiding the state through an economic crisis that is likely to define his four-year term as governor. […] Some of Kaine’s proposals were painful but expected. State agencies, including colleges, would face 15 percent cuts. He proposed a $400 million cut to education funding and a $400 million cut to Medicaid, which helps cover medical needs for the indigent, elderly, blind and disabled.” [Washington Post, 12/18/08]

Final Budget Signed By Incoming Gov. McDonnell Cut Even More From School Funding In Order To Avoid Raising Taxes. From the Washington Post: “The Virginia General Assembly adjourned its annual legislative session Sunday evening after adopting a two-year, $82 billion budget that cuts millions from education, health care and public safety — curtailing state spending more aggressively than any in generations while fulfilling the new Republican governor’s promise not to raise taxes. […] Funding for schools will drop $646 million over the next two years; the state will also cut more than $1 billion from health programs. Class sizes will rise. [Washington Post, 3/15/10]

GOP House Also Approved Community College Cuts Necessitated By Recession

College Spending Cuts Were Approved By Virginia’s GOP-Controlled House. From “[GOP Virginia Del. Scott] Lingamfelter cited data from a 2010 report by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. It shows the amount of general funds spent for each in-state, full-time student at a four-year college fell from $8,709 in budget years 2006 and 2007 to $6,500 in 2010 and 2011. That’s a 25.4 percent drop. At community colleges, average state funding per student fell from $4,602 in fiscal 2006 and 2007 to $2,946 in 2010 and 2011, a 36 percent decrease. […] Is it fair to blame Kaine for the cuts to the colleges? All of the spending levels Kaine recommended for colleges and universities — within a few dollars — were in state budgets that were approved with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates. […] Brandi Hoffine, a spokeswoman for the Kaine, said the former governor had to cut nearly every part of the state budget to cope with the deep recession.” [, 4/4/12]

[NARRATOR:] Democrats called Tim Kaine’s education cuts “a kick in the teeth” to northern Virginia schools. More than $120 million taken from cash-strapped schools in Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun counties. $357 million cut from K-12 education across Virginia. That’s Tim Kaine’s record: a $400 million cut to education funding. With unemployment rising, Kaine cut funding for community college students 36 percent, a kick in the teeth to our children and teachers. That’s Tim Kaine’s record. Independence Virginia PAC is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Independence Virginia PAC, 11/2/12]