Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What would Huck Finn do?

My daughter, a high school teacher in Vance County NC sent me an email concerning the budget shortfall for the next fiscal year. My question is, "I thought and it was portrayed as such, that a State Lottery was supposed to cure all the problems with funding education," what is the truth? My other daughter tells me that my grandaughters and grandson currently do not have text books because the county can not afford them. Who is running the schools in this county, Huck Finn?

"Teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, fewer courses and less help for struggling students are some of the consequences if North Carolina's public school funding is cut by 5 or 10 percent, according to information released last week. The Office of State Budget and Management required government agencies to identify budget cuts at these two levels in anticipation of the 2011-12 fiscal year. To read more about how these potential cuts will impact public schools, please visit the NCDPI website at http://www.blogger.com/www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under “News.”"

From the NC State Education Llottery web site...

Where the Money Goes

In August 2005, the North Carolina State Lottery Act (H. 1023) and the 2005 Appropriations Act (S. 622) was signed into law, which established the North Carolina Education Lottery. View Legislation.

The State Lottery Act, in order to increase and maximize the available revenues for education purposes, prescribes the following guidelines as to how each lottery dollar will be spent which are to be adhered to the extent practicable. Retailers receive a 7% commission for selling tickets. Up to 8% may be spent on administration. At least 50% will be paid out in prizes and as nearly as practicable 35% will be transferred to the Education Lottery Fund at the Office of State Budget and Management. 100% of the net proceeds of the North Carolina Education Lottery go to education programs.

5 percent goes to the Education Lottery Reserve Fund to be used when lottery proceeds fall short of target. The Reserve Fund may not exceed $50 million.

The commission shall distribute the remaining net revenue of the Education Lottery Fund in accordance with the Lottery Act. The Office of State Budget and Management will then distribute the proceeds as follows:

50 percent of the total remainder shall be used for reduction of class size ratios in early grades to 18 children per teacher and for prekindergarten programs for at-risk four year olds who would not otherwise be served in high-quality settings.

40 percent of the total remainder shall be used for school construction. Roughly 65 percent of this total shall be distributed to each county based on total school enrollment. The remaining 35 percent of this total shall be distributed to each county with average effective county property tax rates above the state average based on total school enrollment.

10 percent of the total remainder shall be used for college scholarships for students who qualify for the federal Pell Grant. These scholarships can be used at North Carolina public and private universities and community colleges.

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