Lottery Only Marginally Helps Fund Education, Tax Policy Experts - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

News

Lottery Only Marginally Helps Fund Education, Tax Policy Experts Say

Posted: Updated:
TULSA, Oklahoma -

As the legislature injects new money into education, primarily through teacher pay raises, many people still wonder: wasn't the lottery supposed to fix the problem?

It hasn't and according to a tax policy expert, it never will.

The state gets a steady income from the lottery but it's never been even close to a jackpot for education.

Every time an Oklahoman forks over $2 dollars for a lottery ticket, the state, and education, gets a cut.

The numbers are huge, $835 million dollars for education, but that's the total since the lottery started in 2004.

The problem is that money is divided into categories for education and common schools get less than half. And while it's a reliable source of money for schools, it's been more than offset by other cuts made to education.

“It was unrealistic to imagine the lottery could pay for schools while we were cutting the revenue base out from under them,” said David Blatt with Oklahoma Policy Institute. 

The Oklahoma Policy Institute follows education funding and points out that lottery income started growing just as the legislature started making large tax cuts that decreased education funding overall.

“So, the lottery and gaming have been growing revenues by feet, while tax cuts have cut tax revenue by yards,” said Blatt. 

In 2008, the state appropriated $2,571,000,000 for education.

By 2016, the state cut that by $121 million dollars.

The lottery's peak contribution to education was just over $71 million dollars in one year.

Last year, it was $31.3 million dollars.

“That's probably less than most people expected when it passed, but the lottery was never going to solve our problems entirely,” said Blatt. 

There is a formula to figure out if the legislature is replacing tax money with lottery money, but for the most part, it doesn't account for broad overall tax cuts that impact all agencies.

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.