Where is the education lottery money going?
After the state lottery commission started running their TV ad, many of you wanted to know where all that money is going and can it help with budget cuts? So we asked around.
Dewey Hill is Vice Chair of the House Finance Committee. He said, “Nobody seems to know exactly where the money’s going right now, and I can’t find out either, because some of my people have been asking me the same question.”
During recent visits to our area, Governor Bev Perdue quoted the legislated allotments we explained Wednesday, so let’s review.
After paying for prizes, ticket sellers and lottery commission expenses, about a third of the money the lottery makes is left over for education. After taking out five percent for a reserve fund, 40 percent goes to a fund for building projects, ten percent for college scholarships and 50 percent pays to cap class sizes for early grades and more at four programs.
Here is the dollar breakdown for our area:
In the lottery’s first two years, a href=“http://www.wwaytv3.com/county/bladen_county”>Bladen County received $3.7 million from the lottery.
Brunswick County $4.8 million.
a href=“http://www.wwaytv3.com/county/columbus_county”>Columbus County almost $6 million.
New Hanover County $10.8 million.
Pender County about $2.9 million.
But the districts only have a say in how their share of money from the building fund is spent.
Bladen County has used lottery money to replace air conditioners, do roof work, pave parking lots, replace floors and upgrade fire alarms.
In Brunswick County, the money has replaced the chiller at Belville Elementary and dance floors at high schools, re-keyed three schools, added a water main tap and meter at the Waccamaw School and a million dollars will go to replace windows at middle schools.
Columbus County spent it to fix classrooms, roofs, including at Acme-Delco Elementary, reopen a school in Nakina, upgrade PE facilities and fields, renovate the cafeteria at Tabor City Elementary and pay off the county’s debt to rebuild Williams Township Elementary after a fire in 2004.
New Hanover County replaced the gym floor at Roland Grise, made electrical upgrades at Laney, Hoggard got a new heating and air system, replaced Snipes Academy and paid off the 2005 construction bonds.
In Pender County it paid off bond debt.
Beyond the building funds, administrators we spoke with said they could not pinpoint exactly what else, like teacher salaries, the money paid for, because the money, they say, comes to the school districts rolled in with other state funding and with stipulations on how it can be spent.
“When people ask, ‘can it be used for more teachers?’ the answer is yes, but only in grades K through 3 and with our More at Four Pre-K program,” said New Hanover County Schools spokesperson Valita Quattlebaum.
If you would like to find out more about where the money goes, including a county-by-county breakdown of each category, check out the About Us page on the NC Education Lottery website.
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