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Texas plan would tap lottery revenue for teacher bonuses

Jul 13, 2017, 3:21 pm

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Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Texas plan would tap lottery revenue for teacher bonuses

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Thursday unveiled a plan to boost teacher pay beyond the $1,000 raise called for by Gov. Greg Abbott, and to ultimately pay for it by requiring school districts to reallocate existing funds and, if voters agree, earmarking the first $700 million in lottery money, that already goes to education, for teacher salaries.

Patrick compared his plan, which he hopes to see enacted at the special session that gets underway Tuesday, to what he called House Speaker Joe Straus' "Ponzi scheme" to increase school funding with tax dollars. He said the Straus plan would lay the groundwork for imposing a state income tax to pay for it, and said that's a non-starter. Patrick has also called the state's Rainy Day Fund out of bounds.

Patrick complained that Straus had avoided meeting with him one-on-one during the regular session or since, but that he is ever ready to get together.

In the short term, Patrick said the bonuses, lowering health care costs for retired teachers and other education costs, could be paid for by deferring $700 million in payments to managed care organizations.

Patrick said that Texas spends plenty of money on education — public education, including higher education, he said consumes 52 percent of the state budget.

The problem, he said, is that too little is directed at paying classroom teachers.

Patrick said the average teacher pay in Texas is $51,182. In addition to Abbott's call for an increase that would average $1,000 per teacher, Patrick said he also wants longevity bonuses to be paid to experienced teachers to encourage them to stay in the classroom, and to retired teachers with 20 years experience.

"I want the goal to be for every district to reallocate an additional five percent of revenues to increase average teacher pay from $51,000 to $60,000" over four years, Patrick said.

The plan to direct lottery money to classroom teachers would require a constitutional amendment that would have to be approved by Texas voters.

Patrick was wearing one of the "20-for-20" pins the governor has been distributing, indicating his determination to pass all 20 items on the governor's call for the special session. He said the House could also approve the call in total, "if they ever get a chance to vote for them on the floor."

Austin American-Statesman

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6 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by zephbe.
Page 1 of 1
zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
South Carolina
United States
Member #77165
July 15, 2009
896 Posts
Offline

From this  article it sounds like the Tx Lottery was not set up solely for education.

http://www.kcbd.com/story/14579932/kcbd-investigates-is-the-tx-lottery-really-funding-education.

Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

“Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar

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    New Member
    corpuschristi,te
    United States
    Member #118640
    November 5, 2011
    4 Posts
    Offline

    I think Gov. Greg Abbott should be helpful and use the funds thats set aside already first. Then look at other options. Maybe he and his team perhaps can cut back on their bonus and leave the lotto money alone. I think a billion dollars a year for the education fund is already enough from the lottery.

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      Framingham,Ma
      United States
      Member #87366
      February 23, 2010
      66 Posts
      Offline

      A lot of States across the country changed the wording for school funds to general funds or some other wording for lottery money ear marked for schools, this way can use it for anything other than its soul purpose.

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        United States
        Member #164717
        March 12, 2015
        1300 Posts
        Offline

        A lot of States across the country changed the wording for school funds to general funds or some other wording for lottery money ear marked for schools, this way can use it for anything other than its soul purpose.

        I hope California never does, otherwise the legislature will suck it dry.

          Avatar
          NY
          United States
          Member #23834
          October 16, 2005
          4527 Posts
          Offline

          "From this  article it sounds like the Tx Lottery was not set up solely for education."

          It never matters where lottery proceeds are supposed to go.

          The legislators (even the ones in Illinois) come up with a budget that includes how much will be spent on the different things that need to be funded, and then the state spends that amount of money on those things. Using $1 billion in lottery profits to fund education simply lets them reduce funding from other sources of revenue by that $1 billion. At the end of the year they haven't spent any more on education as a result of the lottery revenue.

            zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
            South Carolina
            United States
            Member #77165
            July 15, 2009
            896 Posts
            Offline

            "From this  article it sounds like the Tx Lottery was not set up solely for education."

            It never matters where lottery proceeds are supposed to go.

            The legislators (even the ones in Illinois) come up with a budget that includes how much will be spent on the different things that need to be funded, and then the state spends that amount of money on those things. Using $1 billion in lottery profits to fund education simply lets them reduce funding from other sources of revenue by that $1 billion. At the end of the year they haven't spent any more on education as a result of the lottery revenue.

            Guess it depends on the Governor.

            https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/south-carolina/articles/2017-06-12/mcmaster-reluctantly-vetoes-17m-for-s-carolina-school-buses

            COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Henry McMaster says he's reluctantly vetoed $17.5 million for new school buses in South Carolina, saying lawmakers should not have used money from the lottery to buy or lease them.

            McMaster issued 41 budget vetoes worth more than $56 million Monday.

            McMaster says lottery money for buses is based on extra ticket sales and other revenue, so the funds are not guaranteed. The plan also does not follow the lottery's original purpose to provide money for college scholarships.

            The state's $8 billion spending plan has another $12 million for school buses in different sections.

            McMaster vetoed a plan to strip power from the Commission of Higher Education and also restored nearly $17 million for the state Conservation Bank.

            They are his first budget vetoes after taking office in January.

            Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

            “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar