I get a lot of questions about how we spend the lottery money. Here’s a quick breakdown.
It’s about $600 million per year.
Originally, the money went four places: Pre-K, teacher pay, school construction, and college scholarships.
In the last few years, there’s been a major shift away from funding teachers and toward funding support personnel, which mainly includes teacher assistants but also includes staff such as counselors, psychologists, and nurses.
Why the shift? Because funding priorities have shifted away from public education and we almost eliminated all of our teachers assistants a few years ago. Paying them with lottery funds — instead of using those funds to hire more teachers — became the stop-gap solution.
In other words, instead of using the lottery to supplement education funding, we’re using it to supplant funding. And just to state the obvious, no, that’s not at all what was promised when we first passed the lottery.
Data Source: NC Education Lottery