Reality Check: Doyle’s Last-Minute Ad On Education

In a last-minute ad, Gov. Jim Doyle tries to set himself apart from his Republican challenger Mark Green on the key issue of education.

In the ad, Doyle makes claims about Green’s record in Congress and boasts of his own accomplishments.

A WISC-TV analysis found that the claims made in the ad are hit-and-miss..

“In Washington, Congressman Mark Green voted with George Bush to cut education $2.2 billion and raise the cost of student loans $2,000 dollars a family,” the ad says.

A WISC-TV analysis found this claim to be “true.” Green supported a Bush budget plan to cut money for education next year.

As for student loans, Congress recently raised interest rates, but the $2,000 figure is an estimate by a Pittsburgh-based financial-aid expert.

Next, the TV ad says: “Now, Green’s plan for Wisconsin cuts 4,700 teachers from our schools.”

WISC-TV found this claim “needs clarification.”

Green’s budget plan hasn’t directed any cuts. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards predicted large layoffs based on a Republican-drafted version of the last state budget, but it never became law.

Green’s plan is to put tighter controls on spending, and it is likely that less total dollars would be available for schools under Green’s administration than Doyle’s. But teacher layoffs are likely to be the last option to cut costs.

The ad then shift’s from Green’s plans to Doyle’s record.

“He stopped a $400 million cut, increased the tax deduction for college tuition and proposed a required third year of math and science,” the ad says of Doyle.

WISC-TV found this claim “needs clarification.”

Doyle increased school spending by $400 million more than the Republicans; the Republicans didn’t propose cutting funding by $400 million.

Doyle did increase the tax deduction for college tuition, but tuition costs are up about 50 percent in four years, and a governor has some control over tuition rates.

WISC-TV found the claim that Doyle proposed a third year of math and science for high school students to be “true,” but it hasn’t passed.

Finally, Doyle’s last claim about “getting a better grade” is “true.” A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial praised Doyle’s school plans compared to Green’s.

Previous Stories:

November 3, 2006: Reality Check: Thompson Says In Ad That Green Supports Stem-Cell Research
October 26, 2006: Reality Check: WEAC Running Anti-Green Ad
October 26, 2006: Reality Check: WMC Attacking Doyle Record in TV Ad
October 18, 2006: Reality Check: Green Attacks Doyle Over Illegal Immigration
October 18, 2006: Reality Check: Doyle Fires Back At Green In Latest TV Ad
October 18, 2006: Reality Check: Green’s Claims That Doyle TV Ads Aren’t True