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Mentor Schools CFO: Record Lottery Sales Not Trickling Down To Local Districts

The CFO for Mentor Schools said the funding for schools from the state remains the same despite record lottery sales

A recent Associated Press article touted how record lottery sales in the state of Ohio would boost the payout to public schools.

However, Mentor Schools' CFO Daniel Wilson said more money spent on the lottery will not mean more money for public school districts.

"The excess profits are not distributed to the local school districts individually," Wilson said. "It goes to the state general fund."

From there, the state has two choices. It can choose to bump the overall amount of money the schools get or simply use the additional lottery funds to offset money they would have given the schools either way.

"What the article stopped short of saying is 'this is good for the state revenue fund but it doesn't make a difference for the individual school districts,'" Wilson said.

When Ohio voters approved the lottery in 1974, the money was sent to the schools as an additional payment and the funds could only be used for textbooks and computers, Wilson explained.

However, in the recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the state legislature changed it so the lottery money just became part of the state school funding; and an increase in the former did not guarantee a bump in the latter.

To be clear, Wilson said neither Mentor Schools nor any other Ohio public school district has received any additional money because of this year's lottery windfall.

Additionally, if public school districts do see any bump in their funding from the state, they won't know about it until the Ohio legislature passes , Wilson said.

Mary Jo Stack July 19, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I have been trying for years to educate parents on this issue. And I got angry recently when an article was posted on the NH website concerning more money for the lottery meaning more money for schools. I posted a reply explaining that it was not true. The article then disappeared from their site. This is one of those things that must be reported over and over, until people understand. Thank you for the article.

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