NC Lottery, supplementing or replacing state education dollars? - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

NC Lottery, supplementing or replacing state education dollars?

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The North Carolina Education Lottery is in its 7th year and is on track to generate more than $500 million dollars for schools this year. The question is, does that money supplement or replace money from the state?

Each dollar spent means $0.28 towards helping our schools. Greene County Superintendent Dr. Patrick Miller can attest to that help. Miller went on TV giving a testimony of the lottery's potential.
In 2011, Greene County built its first new school in 21 years, Greene County Intermediate. The money was a supplement from the lottery.
"For sure without those dollars, that school would have not been constructed.” Miller said. 

Greene County has received more than $7 million in lottery funds since inception of the lottery in March 2006: $2.2 million in teacher salaries, $2.2 million in school construction projects, $1.9 million in pre-k, and several hundred thousand in college scholarships and financial aid. 

The recession did impact those dollars. Instead of supplementing schools, lawmakers used the lottery to replace funding.
"The lottery saved jobs." Lottery Commissioner Jody Tyson said. The debate over supplementing or replacing funding has always been debated and Tyson says as the pot of money grows, the more it's talked about.

"You know we could easily push the envelope $100 million additional which would put the lottery netting somewhere around $700 million.”
The House’s budget uses $106 million from the lottery if the advertising cap is increased to 2%. 

On Tuesday, NC Policy Watch released the findings of their investigation revealing that the lottery continues to see its highest penetration in areas with high numbers of poverty. Nash, Wilson, Edgecombe, Lenoir, Washington, Bertie and Martin counties were all top sellers.
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