Gov. Bev Perdue denounced a television ad being run by Americans for Prosperity about education spending, saying it "muddies the water."
"I'm asking them to pull this ad down, to stop trying to distort the truth," Perdue said this morning.
Dallas Woodhouse, Americans for Prosperity state director, said the ad is "100 percent accurate and truthful," and of course, they're going to keep running it. "We're going to continue to tell the truth about what this budget did," he said.
The Americans for Prosperity/ Civitas Institute ad praises the budget passed by the GOP-led legislature, saying it added 2,000 state paid teachers. AFP started running the ad last week on broadcast and cable television stations.
According to the state Department of Public Imstruction, there are 2,057 more state-paid teachers this year than last year, but 915 fewer teachers overall.
During the worst of the recession, the federal government shored up state education spending with stimulus and "edu-jobs" money. As stream started to dry up, less federal money went to pay for teachers and some of the expense shifted back to the state.
All the edu-jobs money will be gone next year, leading education leaders to refer to it as the time education spending "falls off a cliff."
Perdue said she will propose a sales tax increase in next year's budget to pay for schools.
Legislative leaders said weeks ago they will not consider a tax increase. Perdue said she wants to sit down with House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger to talk about a plan.
"I continue to be very hopeful that they will join me in not further damaging the public schools," she said.