The North Carolina Lottery aims to help education throughout the state, but expectations of how much each county would receive fall short of expectations, causing many to worry.
The North Carolina Lottery was started in 2005 with the goal to help fund education in the state. Since then, the lottery has given more than $2.9 billion to help education in the state. These funds are supposed to help with school construction, teachers’ salaries in K-3, Pre-Kindergarten programs, scholarships, and financial aid throughout the state.
Many counties depend on the money from the lottery to help with their education needs. This year, lawmakers changed how the money was allocated, causing proceeds to fall short of what counties had planned for. When the lottery began, 40% of net revenue was set to go to education needs across the state. However, this year lawmakers dropped that to 23%, following a state budget shortfall in 2009.
Counties across the state feel mislead after their expectations have not been met. Many counties took on debts building new schools and adding programs, all with the expectation that they would receive a certain amount of funding from the lottery.
The North Carolina Lottery still strives to provide funds for education. Many counties are considering other ways to cover the debt accrued over the last year.