Friday, November 03, 2006

Education Programs Receive First Lottery Money

The new N.C. Lottery made its first ever transfer of proceeds to education on October 19, seven months after the games began. The state lottery commission will make periodic transfers to the Education Lottery Fund. At least 35 percent of net lottery revenues must be used for education initiatives such as pre-K programs, reducing class size, school construction, and college scholarships for needy students. The recent $95 million transfer represents 35.6 percent of the $233.1 million total the lottery collected since July 1 and another $12 million generated before that date. The lottery also made a $50 million transfer in late June, but that went into a reserve account.

Guilford County’s public schools and other counties across the state will begin receiving these new funds in the near future. Guilford County is expected to receive approximately $2,372,013 in funding for school construction and $2,572,028 for pre-K education as part of this first installment of new education funds from the lottery. Funds for reducing class size and college scholarships will be announced in the future.

State law requires that at least 50 percent of the total proceeds from the lottery be paid out in prizes, no more than 8 percent for administrative costs, 7 percent to retailers, and the remaining 35 percent to education. Of the funds for education, 50 percent goes to cutting class size in early grades to 18 students per teacher and to the More at Four program for at-risk pre-kindergarten children, 40 percent for school construction, and 10 percent for need-based scholarships for college, university, and community college students in North Carolina. North Carolina’s lottery dedicates a higher percentage of lottery proceeds toward education than most others in the nation.

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will manage the distribution of the funds for the various education programs except the college scholarships, which will be handled by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority.

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