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Why are schools blaming cutbacks on lack of funding when the North Carolina lottery was created as a means for funding local schools?

Vicky Eckenrode

The New Hanover County school system actually received more money this year from the N.C. Education Lottery than it has in the past.

School officials said where they’ve had to cut back were areas in which they couldn’t use lottery money, such as with teaching assistants, custodians and school nurses.

“Some of the smaller schools have to share nurses,” said Valita Quattlebaum, spokeswoman for the school system.

The lottery, passed by state lawmakers in 2005, is expected to send 100 percent of its net proceeds to education expenses.

The money goes to: reducing class size, paying for school construction, funding college scholarships and filling a reserve for when lottery proceeds fall short. It also sends money for the More at Four prekindergarten program.

The amount of lottery money distributed to New Hanover County has increased each year since the 2007 fiscal year.

During the 2009 budget year, the latest in which figures are available at the lottery agency, nearly $5.3 million came to county schools, including $1.8 million for teachers to reduce class sizes. Another $1.7 million went to More at Four in New Hanover County.

Statewide, the 2010 fiscal year, which ended June 30, was the fourth straight year of record lottery tickets sales.

The N.C. Education Lottery rang up $1.42 billion in sales for the year, using about 30 percent, or $431 million, for education, and 59 percent, or $835 million, for prizes according to an article by StarNews reporter Patrick Gannon.

Related links:

Lottery sales top last year, total record $1.42 billion

Distribution of lottery funds by county.

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5 Responses to “ Why are schools blaming cutbacks on lack of funding when the North Carolina lottery was created as a means for funding local schools?”

  1. On August 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm Dixie Dobyns wrote:

    It would be great if you could clarify how Gov. Bev Purdue’s 2010 budget balancing act diverting the proceeds of NC Education Lottery affected our schools bottom line. Here is a link to Raleigh News/Observer: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/06/30/558110/budget-snips-and-trims-kicks-deficit.html

  2. On August 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm JS wrote:

    I for one would like to know when and how Governor Perdue plans on repaying the $300 million she took last year from the Lottery Education fund to “balance the budget”.

  3. On August 21, 2010 at 6:06 pm Dixie Dobyns wrote:

    Ms. Eckenrod, Please delve into this question a little deeper as it pertains to the plundering of the lottery money by Gov. Purdue. Your answer seemed to skirt the issue.

  4. On August 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm Guest wrote:

    The lottery money is correctly used. It goes where it’s suppose to go and does what it’s suppose to do. The one difference is that the state monies that USE to fund the school.. that the lottery was suppose to SUPPLEMENT, is no longer there. NC cut the state education fund and so now NC’s education is soley dependant on the lottery… SO buy those tickets folks! Our kids depend on it!!

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