Democratic candidate for governor Vincent Sheheen is airing a new TV ad that slams Republican Gov. Nikki Haley for her record on education as governor. It says South Carolina students have fallen behind under her leadership.
We checked the facts in the ad.
Claim: Haley has vetoed $110 million for education since 2011. That's true.
Claim: Haley vetoed $10 million for teacher raises. Also true. In 2012, state lawmakers put $48 million in the state budget for those raises, but Haley vetoed $10 million of it because lawmakers were using one-time money for that ongoing expense. At the time, Gov. Haley said, "It was an irresponsible move on behalf of the legislature. What you saw is there was $38 million given for teacher pay raises. We believe teachers deserve those pay raises. But when are they (lawmakers) going to learn you don't use one-time money for recurring expenses? To pay $10 million for expenses that are going to continue to recur is a train wreck. You can't use one-time money for continuing things, and so that is the reason that we vetoed it."
Claim: Test scores have dropped while she's been governor. The ad shows a graph referring to SC students' scores on the National Assessment of Education Readiness, or NAEP, tests in 4th-grad reading. That claim is true. Those scores did go down by one point. However, NAEP says that's not a significant change. And the reading scores for 8th-graders that year went up by one point.
Claim: College costs have soared, and SC has the highest four-year public college tuition in the South. That's also true, according to the College Board.
Claim: South Carolina has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country. That's true, according to the U.S. Department of Education.