Your news section is fact-checking your opinion page, and winning.

On Nov. 5, your columnist Khale Lenhart claims that the legislature is "relying on" the "rainy day fund" to cover a $250 shortfall in education funding. He claims that "at our current rates of use, the rainy-day fund could last (six to eight years) before running out."

However, in the same edition of the paper, a very different story emerges. In a news story about the CREG report (the same report that Lenhart was analyzing), you report that the state does indeed face a $250 million shortfall in public education funding. But the article also says that the Legislature is currently planning to transfer $257 million of this year's revenue into the rainy-day fund. "Legislators could stop that transfer during the session. The rainy day fund currently holds around $1.7 billion."

In other words, if the Legislature chooses not to add $257 million to the current $1.7 billion account, it could use that money instead to fully fund the education budget, taking absolutely nothing from the rainy day fund.

Mr. Lenhart's misleading claim that we are raiding the rainy day fund to pay for current expenses is false. It appears to be a scare tactic, apparently in an effort to justify cuts to education. Let's not fall for that.

Ken Chestek


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