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Some Lawmakers Want Change in Lottery Distribution Formula

Posted July 11, 2007

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— The state's lottery money distribution formula could soon change.

Forty percent of lottery profits are now set aside for school districts to help them with construction. Under House Bill 9 sponsored by Rep. Bruce Goforth, a school district's financial needs and attendance growth would be factored into the decision process.

Under the current system, 65 percent of lottery proceeds for schools is based on the size of the student body while 35 percent is distributed to districts based on residents who pay high property taxes.

According to the bill, 65 percent of lottery proceeds for schools would still be based on student body size, but the remaining 35 percent would be split in half with 17.5 percent going to low-wealth school systems and 17.5 percent going to school systems with high enrollment.

For example, Wake County, which currently gets $8 million in lottery proceeds, could get an additional $5.4 million under the proposed bill.

Some critics argue the calculation punishes fiscally sound county governments.

23 Comments

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  • tlh1005 Jul 11, 2007

    Teachers can't be paid from lottery funds, and there are no "excess" funds as someone mentioned because the lottery proceeds are built into the budget. For the record I'm pro lottery, but this is why lottery opponents are right when they say the influx of money doesn't really help education and causes more problems then good. The budget makers already accounted for the proceeds of the lottery before the first ticket was sold.

  • wstarhawks Jul 11, 2007

    HMMM 35 percent goes to districts based on residents who pay high property taxes.
    Just waiting for all the districts who have lower property taxes to realize this and raise their property tax to get a bigger piece of the pie.

  • Karmageddon Jul 11, 2007

    Since the anti-lottery people couldn't stop the lottery they put a bunch of restrictions on it in the hopes that it would fail. They love to whine about it every chance they get.

  • agentm Jul 11, 2007

    sounds like missing money to me what is going on here ??? what is the deal the money coming up short..

  • dryhumper Jul 11, 2007

    All of you conservative minded folks have been whining about the lottery since it began. North Carolina is far behind the other states because of you people.

  • tarheel57 Jul 11, 2007

    I knew it wouldn't be long before they started changing things with the lottery. They change this and they will want to change it again. They want to make sure the district they live in recieves the most money. All political. I will still play the lottery, but just like our government,can't keep there hands off of nothing.

  • TruthBKnown Jul 11, 2007

    They call it the education lottery. But all they did was take the money that would normally have gone to education and use it for other stuff. Then the lottery money comes in and goes to replace those funds in education.

    That doesn't sound like an "education lottery" to me. It sounds more like "Other stuff lottery".

  • Nancy Jul 11, 2007

    "Some critics argue the calculation punishes fiscally sound county governments"

    And those critics would be spot on. As long as noone is held responsible for their decisions and just use any and all means to find money to cover their foolish and costly errors, then those who are fiscally responsible will be punished by such a scheme to alter the distribution.

  • corginole Jul 11, 2007

    Interesting - subsection (5) of the legislation...

    (5) A county may not use monies in this Fund to pay for school technology needs."

    I've been trying to gain a better understanding of how our schools are funded. I did not realize that the lottery funds were so restricted. While it is helpful that the funds can be used to retire older debt (or at least debt incurred since 2003), there are still valid renovation/construction/technology needs that could be met with these funds.

  • nc1906 Jul 11, 2007

    Oala is right. The citizens of NC thought the lottery was to be icing on the cake for NC schools. Even before the lottery was operational, it became the cake. I think the lottery should change so that the money is sent to foundation and then spent on the school. That way the money grubbers in Raleigh will have to keep their hands off of it.

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