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Why Isn't The Lottery Doing More To Help School Budgets?

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The Tulsa Public Schools shortfall is expected to tally $10 million by the end of the fiscal year. The Tulsa Public Schools shortfall is expected to tally $10 million by the end of the fiscal year.
Why isn't the lottery having more of an impact in funding Oklahoma schools? Why isn't the lottery having more of an impact in funding Oklahoma schools?
The lottery actually provides only about 1% of the school system's student funding budget. The lottery actually provides only about 1% of the school system's student funding budget.

by Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The state of Oklahoma's budget problems continue to be the talk of the town. Tulsa Public Schools is already looking at a shortfall of more than $2 million and TPS superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard expects it to exceed $10 million by the end of the fiscal year.

We continue to get questions about the lottery and why it isn't making up the difference.

When the Oklahoma lottery began in 2004, voters were told sales would total around $300 million dollars a year. Governor Henry called it a big step to help fund the state's education. But state budget problems have forced Tulsa Public Schools to cut more than $2 million from this year's budget leaving some to question other sources of funding.

For example, Sharon in Tulsa asked, "What happened to the extra money from lottery?"

Since its inception, the lottery has averaged $218 million in sales each year. For this fiscal year, it's expected to send more than $66 million to education, which equals $105
per student or1% of total student funding. 

There is another source of education funding that does not get as much attention. It comes from tribal casinos and horse tracks. So far this year, the state has collected $31 million from casinos and $4 million from horse racing.

Related Story 11/16/2009: Tulsa School Board Meets With Teachers Union Over Budget

The state spends more than $7,600 per student, so the casino and horse racing money is less than 1% in total funding.

The lottery commission expects the recession to continue to take its toll and predicts it will provide $2 million less to education next year.
 
They are also worried about losing as much as $10 million in revenue because Arkansas started its lottery two months ago.

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