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N.C. Education Lottery Transfers $117.4M, Half of Funds Alloted to K-3 Teacher’s Salaries

lotteryJan. 29, 2013. The N.C. Education Lottery has made its second transfer of lottery revenues to the state for this fiscal year, providing to the education programs that it serves an additional $117.4 million.

The transfer, made today, brings the total amount earned for education and the state since the lottery started almost seven years ago to $2.69 billion. The new transfer combined with the one made in October adds up to $238.5 million in lottery proceeds for education during the first half of fiscal year 2013 (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013).

This FY13 budget, as approved by the N.C. General Assembly, allocates all of the lottery’s proceeds to education programs. Once the transfer is made, the money is available to help meet the needs of education programs this year. About half of the money this year goes to pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3 to help keep class sizes as low as possible.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said that the N.C. Education Lottery’s proceeds provide an important source of funds to public schools.

“Lottery funds help us keep classes smaller in kindergarten through third grade, and thanks to lottery funding, classes in these key early grades remain among the smallest in public schools,” Atkinson said. “Our state’s lottery can’t fill every funding gap we have, but we are grateful for the boost these dollars give in key areas.”

As the quarterly transfers are made, the lottery dollars go initially into a state fund called the Education Lottery Fund and then are distributed to the state departments and agencies that administer the programs that the lottery serves. The amount of money raised by the lottery in the last fiscal year was equal to about 4 percent of the state budget for public schools, community colleges and state universities. 

Legislators decide how lottery dollars are used and how they are allocated. Based on the state budget for fiscal year 2013, 50 percent of the money will go to teacher salaries in grades K-3, 22.7 percent to counties for school construction or repair projects, 14.3 percent to the prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds called N.C. Pre-K, 6.9 percent for college scholarships based on financial need, 3.7 percent to local school systems, and 2.4 percent for the UNC Need-Based Grant program.