Politifact weighs in on education claims in governor's race - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Politifact weighs in on education claims in governor's race

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

In the tight race for Georgia Governor, candidates are taking aim at one another's records on education.

WTOC turned to Politifact of Georgia, a non-partisan fact-checking team at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for answers on the candidates' claims.

Republican incumbent Nathan Deal has been running neck-and-neck with his Democratic challenger, state senator Jason Carter.

Carter takes aim at Deal in an ad that claims that there are 9,000 fewer teachers in Georgia classrooms under Deal.

While campaigning in February, Carter said the state had lost those 9,000 jobs since 2009.

"He's basically on target with this," Politifact's Jim Tharpe said. "Since 2009, we have lost about 9,000 teachers and the number of students has gone up about 2.6 percent. The problem is, Governor Deal didn't take office until a couple years after 2009, so he can't pin all these losses on Governor Deal."

Deal's television ads say he's fought to protect Georgia students. The Georgia Republican Party sent out a news release early this month, claiming education funding grew every year under Deal, despite spending cuts to all other state agencies.

Tharpe said it's true Deal has increased school spending every year, but "all the other agencies weren't getting cuts."

"Some of them were getting spending increases just like education," he said.

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