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Change could come for lottery formula

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RALEIGH (AP) -- The House Finance Committee has approved a bill to include a school district's financial needs as well as attendance growth when distributing money from the lottery for school construction.

Forty percent of Lottery profits are set aside for school districts to help them with construction. This year that totals $140 million. The current formula gives a disproportionate amount to districts in counties where the property tax rate is higher than the state average.

County and school leaders complain the calculation punishes fiscally sound county government that kept rates low.

The bill would give about 60 of the state's 100 counties more money. But a number of urban districts, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham, Guilford and Cumberland, would get less money.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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