Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Media matters corrects O'Reilly

Media Matters is already a national treasure, in my eyes. This time they take on O'Reilly's bogus statement on education funding.
On his nationally syndicated radio show, FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly used a bogus statistic propagated by the Bush administration intended to combat critics who claim the administration has failed to devote sufficient resources to K-12 education.

On the August 5 edition of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly claimed, "So much [federal education] money has poured into the states that they can't spend it, that most states are going to have to give back to the Treasury Department between 20 and 12 percent of the federal money coming in."

The truth is that the law allows states at least 27 months to spend federal education money, and states spent 99.5 percent of federal K-12 education money allocated for the most recent year for which all relevant deadlines for state expenditures of federal education money have passed.

A January 15 memorandum from the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) exposed the statistic O'Reilly cited as misleading. After noting that "the White House and the Department [of Education] have referenced the unspent funds as evidence that additional funding to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act is not needed," the memo presented a detailed explanation of the bureaucratic obstacles states must traverse in order to receive yearly federal education money from the Department -- obstacles that often require several years to overcome.
So that you can see for yourself, Media Matters also provided the link to the source document from the NCSL.

Next step: can they take on reframing education, especially redefining the abundance of code used in all the propaganda pieces supporting NCLB?