RALEIGH – The N.C. Education Lottery has made its final transfers of lottery revenues to the state for fiscal year 2013, bringing its total contribution to $461.3 million. The transfers mean that in just over seven years of operations the lottery has produced more than $2.9 billion in revenue for North Carolina.
The amount transferred to education in FY13 was $20 million more than projected when the NCEL approved its original budget.
“Thanks to continued growth in the sale of lottery tickets, the Education Lottery increased its contribution to education for the seventh year in a row,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “The sales show North Carolinians enjoy playing the lottery and winning prizes. Their support makes the lottery a reliable source of money for the good cause we serve, education in North Carolina.”
Legislators decide how the lottery dollars are used. Most of the money raised this year, $441 million, went immediately to the education programs that the lottery serves. Here’s how lottery proceeds were allocated:
• Teachers’ salaries in grades K-3 to keep class sizes as low as possible. The state budget allocated $220 million to salaries. It also allocated $16.3 million additional money to local school systems.
• School construction and repairs. Counties received $100 million to help build or repair schools. Projects recently approved for the use of lottery dollars include $2.6 million in Pender County to help pay off school bonds; $5 million in Guilford County to help pay off school bonds; and $2.2 million in McDowell County for classroom additions at West McDowell Junior High School.
• College scholarships and grants based on financial need. The $30.4 million allocated for N.C. Education Lottery Scholarships and $10.7 million allocated to the UNC Need-Based Grant Program will help students pay for the costs of attending a state university or community college beginning this fall. This year, for example, 27,144 students across the state received an Education Lottery Scholarship. “It really made a difference and took a lot of stress off my family,” said one recipient, Shani Nelson of Raleigh, a student at N.C. Central University in Durham.
• N.C. Pre-K program. The program, which received $63 million, serves at-risk four-year-olds by providing a year in an academic pre-school before they begin kindergarten. Lottery dollars made up almost half of the funds for the program, providing Pre-K slots to 12,191 four-year-olds.
The remaining $20 million in lottery proceeds will be allocated by legislators in the new state budget for fiscal year 2014.