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N.C. school construction lottery money doesn't really build schools

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. school construction lottery money doesn't really build schools
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Includes video report

Where does the North Carolina Education Lottery money go? You know, you buy a ticket, you put money into the education lottery, and you think all that money goes to North Carolina schools. But that is not quite how it works.

Of every dollar, 61% goes back into the lottery for prizes, 28% goes to education, and 11% go back to retailers and the lottery for administration.

Of that 28 percent for schools, the Education Lottery website says 45.8% goes to teacher pay, 20.8% to school construction, 15.7% to preschool through kindergarten, and 15.3% to scholarships and aid, and 2.4% to digital learning.

When you see this it looks simple. In reality, it's anything but! The state legislature has permission to change the numbers every year. That 20.8% for school construction started out as 40%! And as WFMY News 2's Faith Abubey found last summer, that money isn't really used to pay for construction.

When the state approved the lottery in 2006, legislators said in a statute, 40% of the proceeds would go to counties for building and renovating schools.

"Most counties, the lottery money has been used for debt service for all the schools that we're having to build because of the class size which means bigger schools," said Zeb Hanner, assistant Davidson County manager.

The bills for the loans have been pouring in, but for the last three years, the 40% outlined in the statute has dropped to 23%.

"We took on debt in this county we would have never incurred intentionally," said Mark Richardson, county commissioner.

"You're not only impacting the local government you're impacting tax payers." said Hanner.

Senator Pete Brunstetter is co-chair of the senate appropriations committee. He says the 40% was only a guideline — not a requirement.

"Counties were not told to necessarily rely on this to leverage for debt. But we are aware that a number of them have," "They were never assured they were going to get that percentage," said Brunstetter.

If you look on the lottery website you can find this chart. It explains how much money each county received. But again — the school districts themselves don't decide or distribute where the school construction money from the lottery goes.

The money goes to county commissioners who typically use it to pay down bond debt on already built schools. So no new construction comes from the education lottery.

VIDEO: Watch the news report

NlL5MK2ysFgN.C. school construction lottery money doesn't really build schoolsWhere does the North Carolina Education Lottery money go? You know, you buy a ticket, you put money into the education lottery, and you think all that money goes to North Carolina schools. But that is not quite how it works.T02M30Shttp://img.youtube.com/vi/NlL5MK2ysFg/2.jpghttp://youtu.be/NlL5MK2ysFg2014-07-10T08:45:00-05:00

WFMY News 2

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11 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by THRIFTY.
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Drenick1's avatar - villiarna
USA
United States
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February 25, 2014
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Posted: July 10, 2014, 1:17 pm - IP Logged

Almost half of the amount allocated for the school system goes towards teachers salaries. I believe there has been many past discussions in which we had teachers who were LP members both working and retired claim that the teachers received absolutely nothing. I guess that theory in NC is false.

NC has one of the worst public education available and yet they keep finding ways to keep promoting these teachers in which at least half should be fired for incompetence.

    Tialuvslotto's avatar - Jailin
    Texas
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    December 31, 2013
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    Posted: July 10, 2014, 2:29 pm - IP Logged

    Isn't it picking nits to say that the money wasn't used for school construction? 

    The school district needs a school, so they use the promise of lottery money to secure a loan to build one and then use the lottery money to pay down the debt.  If schools were built because of the money, the the money was used to build schools, no?

    If you can track it you can trap it!  Hippy

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
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      May 31, 2000
      21653 Posts
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      Posted: July 10, 2014, 4:35 pm - IP Logged

      Isn't it picking nits to say that the money wasn't used for school construction? 

      The school district needs a school, so they use the promise of lottery money to secure a loan to build one and then use the lottery money to pay down the debt.  If schools were built because of the money, the the money was used to build schools, no?

      I don't think that's how most people view this.  When something is to fund "school construction" they expect to see the funds used to start new construction.  (Kind of like the "shovel-ready projects" that the stimulus was supposed to fund.)

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        mypiemaster's avatar - lib
        He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

        United States
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        April 2, 2013
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        Posted: July 10, 2014, 4:50 pm - IP Logged

        Politicians always keep moving the goalpost, to suit their current desires.

        Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

        Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #149827
          December 9, 2013
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          Posted: July 10, 2014, 8:39 pm - IP Logged

          Youre not wrong there we're ranked 46th in teacher pay and they still do not want to raise teacher's salaries. It's not all the teachers that are incompetent though it's that they're tired alot of them have to have 2 jobs and trying to raise their own families, we cannot get quality teachers here because it doesnt pay anything. That's one of the major fights going on right now, they are talking about raising it since Texas has lured a good chunk of our teachers there, to raise our rank from 46th in teacher pay to around 38th. I now know teachers are not in it for the money cause here they dont get much of it

            Get paid's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
            texas
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            February 11, 2014
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            Posted: July 11, 2014, 12:01 pm - IP Logged

            Thanx Todd 4 that info my state ranks A+

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              Marana AZ
              United States
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              August 3, 2013
              145 Posts
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              Posted: July 11, 2014, 4:11 pm - IP Logged

              "One out of nine teachers earn the lowest base salary of $30,800 because there are few meaningful raises until the fifth year on the job."

              "A teacher who has not earned completed advanced education beyond a bachelor's degree will take 15 years to earn $40,000."

              Yeah, sounds like North Carolina teachers are really raking it in. Imagine that. A measly bachelor's degree and a paltry 15 years experience and they make out like bandits at $40,000 per year. Only $11,000 less than the national median wage.

              See: http://www.wral.com/report-nc-teacher-pay-slides-against-peer-states/12190793/

                Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                Zeta Reticuli Star System
                United States
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                January 17, 2006
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                Posted: July 11, 2014, 7:49 pm - IP Logged

                Any body still doubt the "Bcks for education, Education lottery, etc.." is nothing but a foot in the door for voodoo accounting?

                In many stated lottery money only goes through the school system, not to the school system.

                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                Lep

                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  18101 Posts
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                  Posted: July 11, 2014, 8:26 pm - IP Logged

                  Almost half of the amount allocated for the school system goes towards teachers salaries. I believe there has been many past discussions in which we had teachers who were LP members both working and retired claim that the teachers received absolutely nothing. I guess that theory in NC is false.

                  NC has one of the worst public education available and yet they keep finding ways to keep promoting these teachers in which at least half should be fired for incompetence.

                  This article gives the impression that teachers are taking the bulk of the lottery profits when in reality teacher were being paid before they had a lottery and now the taxes that used to pay teachers are being used on some state officials favorite unfunded projects.

                  * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                  * your best chance at winning a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                  "I will magically reveal the winning numbers after the drawing"
                  Evil Looking       

                    Gleno's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg
                    New Jersey
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                    September 25, 2009
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                    Posted: July 12, 2014, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

                    This story does not surprise me. In N.J. the Camden schools are very old and in need of repair or replacement .

                    So what does the state run Camden education system do? Hire private enterprise charter schools to remedy the problem.   

                    The state continues to advertise that the lottery helps Education. Hope these " hybrid charter schools" work for the children because Camden N.J. is probably the poorest city in N.J. and a good education is the only ticket out of poverty and crime. 

                    The Camden City Police Dept has now been taken over by the Camden County Police jurisdiction, again to help with curtailing crime in this crime ridden city.

                    Of course there are many other types of educational programs through out the state that receive some of the lottery proceeds,as well. 

                     

                    Unhappy

                      THRIFTY's avatar - darth vader-face.jpeg
                      NEW YORK
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                      Posted: July 13, 2014, 9:52 pm - IP Logged

                      I don't think that's how most people view this.  When something is to fund "school construction" they expect to see the funds used to start new construction.  (Kind of like the "shovel-ready projects" that the stimulus was supposed to fund.)

                      I thought that people pay taxes for schools construction. States can't depend on lottery revenues to survive.