Why The Florida Lotto Isn’t Enough For Public Education

From gamblers to grandmas, millions of Floridians play the Florida lottery.

About a quarter of that lottery money goes to education funds, which benefit K-12 schools, state universities and colleges.

But even with the $29 billion poured into the Florida lottery’s education trust fund, school districts said there isn’t enough money to fully fund K-12 education.

“They [the state legislature] sure keep adding requirements, but they don’t add additional dollars,” said Katie Corbin, the Chiefland Middle High School graduation coach.

About 27 percent of Florida Lottery sales money goes into an education trust fund, where it’s spent on Florida Bright Futures college scholarships and K-12 education. The other 73 percent of sales go toward prizes, retailers, vendors and operating expenses.

The lottery transfers money to the education fund once a month, said Nidia Tew, a Florida Lottery spokesperson.

From there it is up to the Florida legislators to choose how to distribute the money to school districts and scholarship funds, said Alexander Rella, the Alachua County School Board assistant superintendent of business services.

The lottery money allocated for K-12 education is used to build schools, help decrease class sizes and pay for school-recognition programs, where schools that earn good grades are rewarded with additional money, Rella said.

School districts also get discretionary funds from the lottery, meaning that school boards, teachers, principals and School Advisory Councils can choose where and how to spend that money, he said.

Read more here.


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