Face palm.

CMS just cannot play it straight. Just cannot give the public the straight fiscal facts without spin. Proof — the latest CMS budget docs which kick off with this bit of editorializing:

Race to the Bottom

North Carolina (contrary to the opinion of some) is a low spending state:

• Based on the most recent NEA rankings, North Carolina is 42nd on per pupil spending.

Anyone who knows anything about interstate spending comparisons — especially with regard to education — knows that CMS just called them stupid. Knows that CMS staff is producing propaganda, not facts. Knows that CMS is still not being remotely serious about facing the reality that the era of free money is over.

Even better though is the fact that the NEA itself warned against using the data it produced to draw sweeping conclusions about spending

Consideration of factors such as a state’s tax system, provisions for other public services, and population characteristics also are needed. Therefore, it is unwise to draw conclusions based solely on individual statistics in this report.

Elsewhere in the CMS spin staff lament the lack of public understanding on the topic of public school spending and the lack of money available to advertise enough to “educate” them about spending. In other words, yet more propaganda is needed.