Here’s the reply from Van Denton, director of communications for the N.C. Education Lottery:
“Yes. Prekindergarten programs have been one of the four areas of education served by the N.C. Education Lottery since it started in March 2006. Until this year, lottery funds supported the More at Four program for at-risk 4-year-olds. The funds paid for 4-year-olds, judged to be at risk of starting schools behind their peers, to receive a year of learning in a high-quality pre-kindergarten class. Under changes made this year by the N.C. General Assembly, the program is now called N.C. Pre-K Program and is administered by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The program continues to receive lottery funding.
As of June 30, 2011, the More at Four program had received $416.8 million since the start of the lottery. Those funds were distributed to More at Four classes in every county in the state and paid for 100,913 4-year-olds to attend for a year. This year, the state budget allocates $63 million in lottery dollars to the N.C. Pre-K Program, 14.8 percent of overall lottery net proceeds expected for this year.
The state budget makes the following allocation for the rest of the lottery money: 51.9 percent, teacher salaries in grades K-3; 23.5 percent for local school construction and repair projects; and 9.7 percent to need-based college scholarships and to the UNC Need-Based Financial Aid Program. In all, as of the last transfer to the state in September, the lottery has raised $2.11 billion for education initiatives in North Carolina.
Date posted: November 3, 2011
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