Huckabee just said he was under a court order to raise taxes for the purposes of education (in the video taken, according to the host, “about a hundred pounds ago”). This is a misrepresentation he’s used before. Factchecker has the real scoop:
It is true that in November 2002 the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the state’s funding of its public schools violated the equal protection clause in the Arkansas Constitution. Public schools in poorer parts of the state were being underfunded. The court gave the state until Jan. 1, 2004, to correct the problem. So Huckabee is correct in claiming that he was under a court order to increase public school funding.
But that is not why Huckabee was in front of the Arkansas Legislature in May 2003. Even without the court order to increase public school funding, Arkansas was facing a budget shortfall. For the fiscal year that ended June 2002, that shortfall was $209 million, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration. The fiscal year 2003 gap was $66.7 million. Huckabee’s plea for a tax increase was aimed at covering these revenue shortfalls. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s Huckabee earlier in that same speech:
Huckabee (state Legislature, May 2003): But the issue that brings us back to this Capitol on this day cannot wait any longer. The urgency of passing budgets for various state agencies is critical, but just as critical is passing a revenue stream that will fund these budgets and provide an adequate level of service, particularly in the areas of Medicaid [sic], as well as the Department of Corrections.
The line that really got our attention, though:
Huckabee: The business of education, we’ve decided to let that wait until the fall.