October 6, 2010 by staff
Hoosier Lottery, Hoosier Lottery play, and your money will become part of about 800 million and spent just last year on those trying to win big. Many people think that the benefits of education to benefit Indiana State Lottery.
In fact, many people asked questions on our Facebook page to which schools are so strapped for cash if the lottery brings in millions of dollars. As it turns out, money does not go where you think.
Patrick Pierce, a professor of political science at St. Mary’s College and lottery expert, has studied lotteries for education across the country.
“We really, in Indiana, should not expect the lottery to provide any benefit to education,” said Pierce.
That’s where lottery revenues go to Indiana. Last year, more than 30 million went to the pension fund for police and firefighters, and 30 million in lottery revenue went to a teachers’ pension fund, and about 120 million went Build Indiana Fund.
“To put it bluntly, Indiana Construction Fund is the pork barrel project for people in the state legislature,” said Pierce.
The reality is, for every dollar spent on education, only about one fourth is spent on state programs.
This is true in Indiana and Michigan. Michigan, at least, the objectives of lottery revenues to education. The question, however, is whether this money is to benefit schools.
Last year, the Michigan Lottery has generated about $ 725 million and revenue that goes directly to the School Aid Fund, a giant pot that includes revenue from cigarettes, income, sales and property taxes, to name a few. Money, then disperse in schools.
In the story nearly four decades of the Michigan Lottery, and some 15.2 billion went to school in the Assistance Fund.
However, Pierce said, “Lottery revenue that is supposed to be spent toward education is not increased spending on education.”
Professor Pierce said even states like Michigan that send lottery funds for education to end up spending less on education in the long term.
“This is exactly the opposite of what you thought would happen. We receive new revenue, it goes toward education, and then you end up spending less on education, after this period of time, “said Pierce.
Pierce said in a first time, spending on education has received a significant bump. But after that first year, the rate of increase in education spending does tend to slow down. After about 7 or 8 years, less money is spent on education than would have been spent if the state did not have a lot at all.
That’s because legislators tend to use the money as supplementary studies leeway, and pass it to the general fund to balance the budget or cut taxes.
In fact, this month Governor Granholm approved a bill to transfer from one school and 208 million-aid budget surplus of the Fund to the General Fund to create a balanced budget.
“It is essentially a fraud committed on citizens and states that, at least implicitly, education funding will go,” said Pierce.
Professor Pierce said the states with the most successful lotteries are those who have financed entirely new programs, such as fund scholarships.
He recommends that if you want something to change, push your legislators to make money lottery that will be truly additional funding of education.
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