The North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL) transferred $95 million last Thursday to the Education Lottery Fund, which will be used to build new schools, reduce class size in the early grades, improve pre-K education programs and provide college scholarships for needy students.
Since the lottery started on March 30, a total of $145 million has been raised for education.
The first quarterly transfer represents 35.6 percent of the $233.1 million total the lottery has collected since July 1, and another $12 million from money raised through lottery ticket sales between March 30 and July 1 this year. Lottery officials say the total marks significant progress toward meeting the $425 million in new education funding that the lottery is expected to produce in its first year for the education of our state’s children and their schools.
“Last week’s transfer of much-needed education funding for our students and their schools will be a tremendous help as we continue our efforts to build new schools, hire new teachers and educate our kids,” said Rep. Michael Wray, D-Northampton. “Whether you support the lottery or not, it is evident that the real winners from North Carolina’s lottery are our students and their schools.”
State law requires that at least 50 percent of the total proceeds from the lottery be paid out in prizes, no more than 8 percent for administrative costs, 7 percent to retailers and the remaining 35 percent go to education.
Of the funds for education, 50 percent goes to cutting class size in early grades to 18 students per teacher and to the More at Four program for at-risk pre-kindergarten children, 40 percent for school construction and 10 percent for need-based scholarships for college, university and community college students in North Carolina. North Carolina’s lottery dedicates a higher percentage of lottery proceeds toward education than most others in the nation.
On June 28, the Education Lottery transferred $50 million to the Education Lottery Fund, which can be tapped to ensure that programs supported by the Education Lottery receive full funding. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will manage the distribution of the funds for the various education programs except the college scholarships, which will be handled by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority.
“Our schools are in desperate need of additional funding, and money from the lottery will help us build the new schools we need for our students,” said Rep. Wray.
All counties across the state will begin receiving these new funds in the near future. Northampton, Vance and Warren counties are expected to receive the following amounts as part of this first installment of new education funds from the lottery:
County * $ for School Construction * Pre-K Education
Northampton * $105,078 * $281,866
Vance * $276,355 * $ 98,054
Warren * $ 98,909 * $ 97,468
Funds for reducing class size and college scholarships will be announced in the future.
During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers also created a new independent lottery oversight commission, which will be made up of educators and citizens who will ensure that all future lottery proceeds are dedicated to education as intended.
More information on the North Carolina Education Lottery can be found online at: www.nc-educationlottery.org.