Tracking NC Education Lottery Dollars

The transfer earlier this month of 25.3 million dollars from the NC Education Lottery to the state brought the tally for the fiscal year to 410.8 million dollars.

The Lottery Act says 50 percent of proceeds is to be split between pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk four year-olds and class size reduction in the early grades, 40 percent to school construction and 10 percent to college scholarships.

Lottery officials say county by county breakdowns of where the money went this fiscal year won't be available until later this year.

Numbers from 2007-2008 fiscal year show just over $84-million dollars went to More-at-Four, close to $91-million went to class size reduction, $140-million for school construction, and close to $36-million for college scholarships.

Still, the lottery has been criticized as falling short of meeting education needs, and that the money simply replaces other dollars being shifted away from education.

Earlier this year, in the midst of the down economy, Governor Perdue used $87.6 million in lottery profits for the state's day-to-day operating accounts to pay bills.

The conservative John Locke Foundation criticized that move because the lottery was sold on the basis that it would only be used for education.

That transfer of funds by Perdue meant some counties weren't going to get the money they were counting on for projects already underway.

Tapping into lottery funds by Perdue has renewed discussion that a constitutional amendment is needed to make sure lottery funds are not used for any purpose other than education.

To look at the lottery dollars your county received and what they were used for in the 2007-2008 fiscal year, just click on the link below.

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