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Brunswick superintendent says lottery slump will have small effect

READ MORE: Brunswick superintendent says lottery slump will have small effect

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Like just about everything else schools are suffering from the sagging economy, and it's a double whammy for them. Schools now are handling cuts from the state and from lottery sales.

Funds from the North Carolina Education Lottery go toward specific school programs like construction, scholarship and K-3 classrooms, but weak ticket sales could mean $40 million less for schools. The lottery's acting executive director said the sales are down because of the economy.

So what does that mean for our schools?

Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Edward Pruden said while the funds do help, they only make up 3.9 percent of the budget.

"We just will have to forego construction projects that we need to do, school renovations," Pruden said. "The impact on funding for teachers K through third grade is something we'll have to take a close look at and try to minimize that. Every dollar is significant, but I don't want the public to think it's a big part of our funding because it's not."

All school systems have prepared reduction plans for five, ten, and fifteen percent cuts. The state will announce exactly how much schools will have to cut in the spring.

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Those who do not learn from history....

...are condemned to repeat it.

This exact same scenario has been repeated in every single state that started an "education lottery." A few years after the lottery starts paying money to the schools, the legislature starts thinking, "Hey, they have the lottery money now! We can divert some of the money we used to give to schools to our pet projects."

Then, as the newness of the lottery wears thin, and sales drop off, the schools are underfunded. Right now we're facing a double whammy - sales are dropping not only because of boredom with the lottery, but because of the economy forcing former buyers to tighten their belts....and that same economy prevents the state from restoring former funding levels.

Yeah....we saw it happen EVERYWHERE, but WE were smarter than them. WE weren't going to fall into that trap.