Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory told lawmakers that North Carolina should reallocate how it spends money raised by the state lottery, saying it should be better focused on education.
"I'm recommending that we pursue legislation to reallocate a portion or money away from the bloated, and frankly annoying, advertising and the large administration costs of the lottery commission, and we will use that money to help our students directly with technology," McCrory said.
According to the North Carolina Education Lottery's 2011 comprehensive annual financial report, the lottery spent:
- $15.8 million on salaries and wages
- $23.5 million on the computer systems needed to sell lottery tickets
- $13.8 million on advertising
- $2.4 million on marketing
- $2.4 million on "other general administrative expenses"
Total operating expenses were just over $1 billion, which included $863 million in prizes. Another $436.1 million went toward various education programs.
Assuming the lottery cut all its marketing and advertising budget and sales didn't drop as a result, the state would have another $16.2 million to put toward technology. In real-dollar terms, that's not insignificant money. But in terms of the state budget, it would be spread over a K-12 school system that serves 1.47 million students.
McCrory also said that the state should ensure lottery money is spent on education.
"There's a pot of money right now that can only be used on certain things. Why not let all of our 100 districts use that money on technology and virtual learning?" McCrory said.
The pot of money he's talking about is money sent to school districts for construction costs. Some counties use this money to do repairs and renovations, while others plow it into building new schools.