FACT CHECK: Romney’s plan would cut education, drastically

Romney’s plan cuts not only Big Bird, but federal education spending by 39%

In the presidential debate last night, many claims were made. But one in particular caught our eye as especially misleading.

“I’m not going to cut education funding. I don’t have any plan to cut education funding.”

But that’s exactly what his plan proposes. From “The Romney Program for Economic Recovery, Growth, and Jobs”:

Reduce federal spending as a share of GDP to 20 percent – its pre-crisis average – by 2016.

Even while it cuts total spending to 20 percent of the nation’s economy, compared to 23 percent today, the plan also promises to increase the rate of growth in GDP, but also increases spending on defense and holds Social Security and Medicare harmless. To make the numbers work, Romney has admitted it will require nearly $500 billion in annual cuts by 2016.

That kind of money is not going to come exclusively from eliminating Big Bird.

Innovation Ohio and the Center for American Progress have calculated that the plan will result in across-the-board cuts to remaining federal programs equal to 11 percent in 2013, and averaging 39 percent a year over the next decade.

What does that mean for education?

According to the Ohio Department of Education, in 2011, Ohio school districts received $1.7 billion in federal education funding.

In 2013, this means Ohio schools would be cut by $189 million. Over the decade, schools would see $669 million less, each year, under the Romney plan.

We know candidates often try to put their plans in the best possible light, but Romney’s claim he won’t cut education doesn’t hold up.