To the Editor:
A headline on a Feb. 29 article in The Smoky Mountain News creates a misleading impression of the support the N.C. Education Lottery has provided for Haywood schools.
Through June 30, 2011, Haywood County received more than $8.8 million in lottery funds. Those dollars have meant more than $3.1 million for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, more than $1 million for need-based college scholarships for Haywood County college students, and more than $1.3 million for at-risk 4-year-olds to attend prekindergarten.
Haywood County also has received more than $3.4 million in funds for school construction that would otherwise have been paid for with property taxes. Since 2007, lottery funds have been approved 16 times for purposes such as classroom additions, repairs, and facilities improvements at Haywood schools.
The lottery has raised more money for education every year, totaling more than $2.2 billion. Keep in mind, though, that last year’s record transfer of $446.9 million was equal to about 4 percent of the $10.9 billion budget for K-12, community colleges and universities.
The Education Lottery is doing the job it was created to do. During these tough times, it is hard to meet all the needs that our schools have, but how much greater would those needs be without lottery money?
As the Education Lottery enters its seventh year, we remain committed to raising as much money as possible for education while protecting the interest of players and ensuring games are operated honestly and fairly.
N.C. Education Lottery