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NY Lottery contributed $2.6 billion to education

Apr 4, 2011, 8:36 am

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New York Lottery

Includes video report

By Todd Northrop

With recent media attention focused on soaring Mega Millions sales, many people are curious how the lottery proceeds are divided and spent.

WNYT in New York asked the New York Lottery, and contacted several local school districts, to follow the trail of money from players' pockets to textbooks and commissions.

Last year lottery sales in New York State totaled more than $7.8 billion, of which $2.6 billion went to education funding.

The $2.6 billion represented 12% of the total New York State spending on education.

For every $1 spent on the lottery, $.34 goes to education, $.58 is allocated to winners in the forum of prizes, and $.06 is paid to retailers for their sales commissions.

A sampling of local district education allocations includes:

  • Albany $12,171,940.24
  • Troy $7,324,914.37
  • Schenectady $16,657,100.67
  • Shenendehowa $9,977,686.19
  • Bethlehem $5,473,766.79
  • Niskayuna $4,617,544.85

A complete district-by-district breakdown of lottery education funding, provided by the NYS Comptroller's Office, can be viewed by clicking the link in the Related Links section below this story.

The school district spokespeople contacted by WNYT Friday claim that by the time the lottery money gets to them, it isn't segregated from other state aid so they have no way of determining, how, exactly, it's spent.

When asked how the monies are divvied up by district, the NYS Education Department issued the following statement:

"According the the School Law Handbook, which is published by the NYS School Boards Assoc and the NYS Bar Assoc., a school district's share of the lottery proceeds is computed according to an equalized formula based on each school district's taxable property wealth per pupil to support the general state aids otherwise payable to a school district. School districts receive a portion of their fall state aid payment in the form of a check directly from the lottery fund by September 1 ( 3609-a(1)(a)(2)). A portion of the lottery funds ($15 per resident pupil) is added to regular textbook aid, which is included in the check districts receive from the lottery fund. Lottery aid also includes a $10 payment for each blind and deaf student attending state-supported schools for the blind and deaf."

Thanks to Jazi76 for the tip.

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