Lottery funds make a difference across the state. By law, they pay for teachers' salaries in grades K-3 to keep class size as small as possible, school construction, need-based college scholarships and financial aid, and an academic prekindergarten program for at-risk four-year-olds. To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.6 billion for these programs statewide. Lottery funds are a small but important part of state money to support education in North Carolina.
HISTORY OF LOTTERY DOLLARS TO EDUCATION
Note that in June 2006, three months after operations began, the lottery transferred
$50 million to the state before starting a first full year of operations on July 1, 2006.
While lottery funds have always supported specific education initiatives in all 100 North Carolina counties, changes to the way those funds are allocated went into effect July 1, 2012. The legislature can adjust how lottery dollars are allocate each year in the state budget. Here is the current distribution for fiscal year 2013:
"As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, North Carolina is seeing a yearly increase in the number of students in our public school system. The revenues from the Education Lottery are helping counties throughout the state keep pace with this increased enrollment, either by building new schools or expanding existing facilities. Many counties are leveraging lottery funds to pay the debt service on school bonds, which allows counties to spread the cost of new school construction over many years and helps reduce the burden on local property taxpayers."
- David F. Thompson,
Executive Director, N.C. Association
of County Commissioners
pay for college.
"Without lottery scholarship dollars, it would be fair to say that last year more than 31,000 students would have had increased college costs of $1,045 each, on average. Without lottery dollars to support the UNC Need-Based Grant Program, nearly 4,870 students might have gone without financial aid, averaging another $2,200 per student. Some of those who receive the scholarships or grants might have borrowed the extra funds. Some would have found ways to scrimp and save on food and books. Others would likely have dropped out of school."
- Steve Brooks, executive director,
State Education Assistance Authority
"Receiving the NCEL scholarship will help me cross the finish line in a lifelong goal. This 33-year-old mother of two is so thankful for this chance you have given me."
- Leah Cameron, a math and secondary education major at UNC-Charlotte who hopes to become a high school athletic director one day.
in grades K-3 to help keep class size
as small as possible.
"Lottery funding accounted for about 5.8 percent of all state-funded classroom teachers, or about 15 percent of all allotted K-3 positions in fiscal year 2012. So without the lottery dollars our schools got last year, we would have had about 3,942 fewer teachers in our classrooms."
- Philip Price, Chief Financial Officer,
N.C. Department of Public Instruction
prepare academically for school.
"Every lottery dollar that goes to NC Pre-K helps ensure that our children will arrive at kindergarten better prepared for school and for successful futures."
- Deborah Cassidy, Ph.D.,
Director of the Division of Child Development
and Early Education