NC's Education Lottery: not a win for kids

Profits from the lottery program (scratch off tickets, power ball etc) are supposed to be bonus funding for the school's education budget. But that's not happening in North Carolina...

NC's Education Lottery: not a win for kids
Photo by dylan nolte / Unsplash
"So you can have your cake..." Birthday by Katy Perry

Happy Valentine's Day!

Last week I explained how school funding reports work. If you're a new subscriber (welcome!) you may want to peek back at that issue first.

Let's play the lottery: When I was researching NC school funding I saw a lot of people asking about the North Carolina Education Lottery. Like many states, the profits from the lottery program (scratch off tickets, power ball etc) are supposed to be bonus funding for the school's education budget. But that's not working out in North Carolina...

False Promises: When it was created in 2005, the North Carolina lottery promised to supplement the state's education budget with a minimum of 35% of profits going directly to education. The state was supposed to treat the money like a bonus 🎂, not as a main source of funding. Both these stipulations have been removed. Now it is just a guideline that 35% goes to education, and in some years, like 2016, as low as 25% was shared.

Cake for dinner: Since it is just a guideline to spend the money of education, NC frequently diverts money to other state needs. However it still advertises that the money goes directly to education. UNC Charlotte conducted a study on how the lottery impacted school funding for ten years. They found the lottery money did not increase per pupil spending when compared to population growth and inflation. It is simply replacing other spending. Mike Easley, the former governor who initiated the lottery has called it "a big disappointment, but not a surprise."

To sum it up, Walter Hart, one of the lead researchers said "The lottery was sold as icing on the cake, and over time it’s become more and more of the cake."

If you want to read a little more, this article did an excellent job of explaining the study on NC's lottery.

Some Announcements:

  • I meditated for 30 days- I didn't know how badly I'd need it: ​Check out my newest video. This is a vlog about my meditation challenge last November. I thought I would learn a new skill, but a lot of unfortunate events happened that month. Meditation ended up carrying me through.
  • Tales from a Teacher: I've started a new series on TikTok  sharing some of my stories from teaching. If you need a laugh check them out.

Check this out:

  • Lessons in Chemistry: I just finished this novel  by Bonnie Garmus. The writing was so creative (including the pet dog narrating parts of the story).
  • Clothing Swap Party: Last weekend my friends and I had our second clothing swap party. Everyone brought over gently used clothes, housewares, and accessories to trade with each other. It was so easy to set up and a fun change of pace. If you are looking for a way to be more sustainable or entertain on a budget this is it.
  • Seasonal Leggings: I'm sitting here typing this in my Valentine's Day heart covered leggings... I know you're jealous.💘 Since you read to the bottom, I'll give you a "leg up" for the next holiday. Here's some St. Patty's Day leggings  🍀😜

Til next week,