09/18/06 — Still no hint: Revenue is pouring in, but when will we see the money

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Still no hint: Revenue is pouring in, but when will we see the money

There is no question that the North Carolina Lottery has been a fiscal success for the state, at least so far. The number of players is steady and much money is being counted in Raleigh — some of which is expected to be headed to the state’s schools.

The question is, however, when and how much?

Many school districts across the state, including Wayne County, are in the midst of trying to figure out how to fund millions in needed facilities projects. Many are considering turning to taxpayers to foot the bill.

The lottery funds could be a respite from another tax increase — or a chance to lower the amount homeowners will have to pay.

That is, if someone, somewhere can come up with a definitive determination of when, how and how much money will be headed to the schools.

There has been much discussion and a whole lot of speculation on the part of state officials and others about where the lottery money will be heading.

But that doesn’t mean it is any closer to being in the hands of the communities that need it.

There will have to be a plan in place to take care of distributing the money equitably — and counties like Wayne will have to keep their eyes open to make sure they get their fair share.

But in the wake of all the discussion recently about education needs, getting some money or an estimate of how much schools really can plan on getting, would be a big help as counties wrestle with how to pay the bills.

Then, we can really see if the lottery is really an education lottery or another bureaucratic boondoggle.

Published in Editorials on September 18, 2006 11:18 AM