Friday, September 24, 2010

Want to still call it N.C. "Education" Lottery?

Turns out the North Carolina Education Lottery is steadily chipping away at the slice of money that supposed to go to education. So says an investigation by N.C. Policy Watch, a project of the N.C. Justice Center.

The group said Friday that "the chunk of total revenue that educational programs get has dropped to 29 percent, pushing aside a formula etched in state law that calls for 35 cents out of every dollar to benefit North Carolina schoolchildren."

Policy Watch Investigative Reporter Sarah Ovaska said in the report: “That formula change meant a difference of nearly $80 million last year that might have gone to the college scholarships, early education, school construction and classroom reduction programs that the lottery helps fund.”

The report also said that the steady drop in percentage happened without much fanfare, when a loophole was inserted in state law telling lottery officials to hit their 35-percent mark “to the extent practicable.”
The report also took note of a decision Gov. Bev Perdue made during this summer’s budget negotiation to tap the N.C. Education Lottery for $35 million to help cover an expected gap for Medicaid and other federal social service programs for next year.



Timothy Whitson said...

If this were a charity, and only 29% were going to the beneficiaries, we'd all be up in arms. I realize a certain amount has to go towards administration and the actual prizes, but this seems too close to the Mob keeping 70% of their gambling proceeds and paying out 30% to the police as protection.

Bubba said...

I never liked the NC Lottery. It was an open ended 'education' funding vehicle...with the potential to become a political slush fund.

Now there isn't even a pretense of an education funding vehicle. It's just a slush fund.

That is why Georgia and South Carolina put their lottery proceeds straight away into well defined scholarship funding before the politicians could steal it. (Yes, steal it.) And why there is so much better participation in their Lottos, not to mention why these states are getting to be known as educational magnets, while NC becomes known as the pre-Christie New Jersey of the South.

I propose starting a second NC Lotto, called the NC Scholar Lotto, where all the net proceeds go directly to NC college scholarships. Nothing else. If you want to support the slush fund, you'd still have the choice.

NC Observer said...

I love voluntary taxation, but this is a fraud on the taxpayers and users of the lottery.

Calling former NC Supreme Court Judge and consumer advocate Robert Orr. Help rid our state of this farce.

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