Fact Checking Kevin Kamenetz (Again)
When Baltimore County Kevin Kamenetz is not busy:
- Making excuses for his failure to provide air-conditioning for county classrooms;
- Selling county parkland to a developer/donor;
- Ignoring a nuisance infestation on the Back River;
- Pursuing a questionable construction project for the benefit of an out-of-state organization;
- Neglecting his county legislative delegation and;
- Embarrassing himself as president of MACO…
He is busy reminding us why he is one of the most fundamentally dishonest politicians since Martin O’Malley.
In an alternative fact ridden screed, Kamenetz laid out some whoppers that beg to be rebuked.
The reason Maryland fell to fifth in the Education Week rankings is not because of anything Governor Hogan did or did not do. Education Week changed the methodology of their rankings. For years, Education Week valued inputs like spending over outputs like achievement that favored Maryland and masked the achievement gap—something Red Maryland has been writing about for years.
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During the years Maryland was ranked number one, Maryland ranked dead last in the achievement gap for math and near the bottom for reading. Of course you didn’t her a peep about that from Kamenetz because a fellow left-wing Democrat was Governor.
Apparently Kamenetz also needs a reminder about the Governor’s wildly popular executive order on starting school after labor day. Kamenetz doesn’t seem to understand that the order (that has gone unchallenged by legislative Democrats, mind you) complies with state law requiring 180 days in the classroom. We expect that kind of lie from a guy who in the year 2017 can’t provide air-conditioning to all his students.
Naturally, Kamenetz wants to do away with the begathon, the one public forum where he and other county leaders are held accountable. It’s stunnin, even for a dishonest politician like Kamenetz, to openly call for less transparency and fiscal oversight of public dollars that the Board of Public Works provides. Or at least it would be stunning if it werent’ for that fact that it was at the Board of Public Works that Kamenetz told one of the biggest lies of his career. Just last month Kamenetz was bragging that the number of un-air-conditioned county schools dropped from 90 when he took office to 13 in 2017. Except according to the October 19, 2011 BPW transcript he adamantly insisted to Comptroller Peter Franchot that number of un-air conditioned schools was 65 not 90.
“Unfortunately your number is not accurate, sir, and I repeat again, 65 schools remain un-air conditioned out of our inventory of 172, not the 79 in which you had mentioned.”
Well, which on is it?
Like any dutiful Maryland Democratic servant, Kamenetz is a good soldier and regurgitates the teacher’s union lie that Governor Hogan is cutting and gutting public education. If that were the Governor’s goal—he’s sure dong an awful job at it. Every one of Governor Hogan’s budgets has provided record funding for education. The FY 2018 operating budget provides $6.4 billion and the capital budget provides $334 million for school construction—accounting for one-third of the total capital budget.
Here it is in picture form so Kamenetz can understand.
Not only is overall K-12 spending increasing but Governor Hogan is also doubling funding for P-Tech schools, an innovative public-private partnership that provides early college coursework and job training for Baltimore City high schools that creates a jobs pipeline for these students to companies like IBM. That’s the kind of innovative program that Democrats like Kamenetz eschew because it may actually provide meaningful results for city students.
Don’t forget that it was the Democratic legislature that cut $6.5 million from the Aging Schools Program that Governor put into the FY 2017 budget. The Democrats cynically held hostage this education funding, in order to increase spending in other areas that the state could not afford. Governor Hogan wisely refused to play that game and bust the budget.
So what really has Kamenetz and his union leash holders so bent out of shape? Governor Hogan proposed to increase from $5 million to $10 million the BOOST scholarship program that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. They are losing their minds over 0.023% out of a $43 billion budget. They are complaining that the Governor is offering more choice for parents of students consigned to failing schools simply by their ZIP code. They are whining that the Governor wants to provide the choices that help close the achievement gap that Kamenetz and the teacher’s union have now conveniently discovered. In effect, Kamenetz and the Democrats are complaining that Governor Hogan refuses to leave students in failing schools and instead wants to give them an opportunity to learn and succeed.
As with every other Democrat these days, Kamenetz is engaging in a cynical political ploy to falsely tie Governor Hogan to President Trump. Such nonsense fits with with Kamenetz’s extensive record of incompetence and dishonesty.
In the end, Kevin Kamenetz is like one of his classrooms on a hot day: No class.