The Story of the Lost Dollars.
Whether it be textbooks or computers, many schools in North Carolina seem to have problems with funding. Although schools still have enough money to teach students the curriculum they need, many schools have complained about either a lack of textbooks, lack of computers, or even lack of computer software. The taxes the people of the state pay helps go to schools, but along with many other things in the community, the amount that goes to education may be reduced in order to go to other costs. But, despite the money coming from taxes, there is a program that raises hundreds of millions of dollars that supposedly focuses their income specifically to the education system, yet schools still seem to come up short.
The North Carolina Education Lottery was established in 2005 after the neighboring states of Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia established a lottery. Considering the organization has the word “education”, one could quickly recognize that the North Carolina Education Lottery is all about funding education. Although the lottery advertises that all profits brought in from the lottery go towards schools and education, the sad truth is, the amount of money that is actually given to schools for education purposes is less than thirty percent.
The biggest issue with school funding is trying to cover the very large amount of costs that stretch over the state. North Carolina has a state education budget of around 9.2 billion dollars to cover the educational costs of the entire state. The lottery covers approximately 310 million dollars of the total budget. To put into perspective, that is only around three percent of the budget. Even though the lottery is incapable of covering the full 9.2 billion, anyone who knows about the large prizes given to those who win the lottery knows that the lottery jackpot holds much more than 310 million dollars. In fact, the Mega-Millions jackpot alone stands close to 500 million dollars. So where does all this money that is just sitting in a pot actually go?
Over the years that the Lottery has been an active organization, the amount of money that is given to schools for education has dropped a significant amount. Even though the Lottery states that all money is put towards educational benefits, the original legislation of the Lottery only assigns thirty-five percent of their revenue towards education. However, even with the legislation guaranteeing schools thirty-five percent of the money obtained, the amount given still comes out less than expected. For example, in the year of 2016 the North Carolina Education Lottery raised around 2.4 billion dollars in total. The amount given to schools was only a mere 634 million. Although this may seem like a lot of money, but this is only approximately twenty-six percent of the total revenue that the lottery earned, which is even less than the thirty-five that is supposed to be given.
In conclusion, the baffling fact of why so many schools are very short of money, even though there is an organization that is supposed to support the schools, is brought to light for people to see. The North Carolina Education Lottery has become less about the education and more about the players. Some may argue that since the lottery is in fact a lottery, there has to be prizes for those who play. However even along with the prizes for the players, the main focus of the North Carolina “Education” Lottery should without a doubt be the education that they are advertising to provide for.