Al Sharpton Wisconsin Milk Story Sours

Posted: Sep 30, 2011 12:01 AM

Public employee unions and their apologists will tell any tale to elicit sympathy for their cause.

A good example is the Rev. Al Sharpton, who now remarkably hosts a nightly show on MSNBC. He recently used a portion of his program to claim that state education cuts forced one Wisconsin school district to eliminate milk from morning snacks for elementary students.

"Governor Scott Walker's budget cuts mean some kids go without," Sharpton said, according to an article posted on PolitiFact Wisconsin.

Neither Sharpton nor his National Action Network responded to calls from fact-checkers who were seeking evidence to back up the claim. That's not surprising.

As it turned out, Sharpton should have checked his sources.

According to the Baraboo district superintendent and the school board president and vice president, milk was eliminated from the morning snack because officials were concerned that kids were drinking too much of it in the morning. They had been getting a half-pint carton during breakfast, the morning break and lunch. That seems like a lot of dairy product for small children, even in Wisconsin.

The officials said they were also concerned about the amount of wasted milk, and the administrative time needed to track how much milk was being consumed.

These decisions were made before Walker's education budget was finalized. The fact that school administrators expected budget cuts to affect the milk program was more or less an afterthought, according to the school officials.

But hey, who cares about facts when there's a good opportunity for a Sharpton smear, right?