Many states have a lottery and Powerball and in most cases, the amount of money collected through the lottery is used to help benefit education. It seems to be a win-win situation for everyone involved. The state can finally have the funds to help provide much needed programs and equipment for the states’ schools, residents have an optional way of contributing to this program, while having a chance to strike it rich, and children get the programs they need at school.
In 2004, the State of Oklahoma voters approved measures to fund the state’s educational system with proceeds from the state lottery. This means that the net proceeds, or the money collected through selling a variety of lottery games and tickets, are directly used to support and enhance education. This money is used to supplement the existing funding, which is very important because previously allotted money is not replaces. In addition, this money is used for all ages, starting with preschool education programs and going all they way up to higher education.
So far, this system has proved very beneficial for the state and the education programs. In 2006, it was reported that over $204 million dollars went directly into the school systems. Because of this large amount of money collected through the Powerball and other lottery games and programs, several different educational programs were supplemented. These include:
Funding for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade: Forty-five percent of these earning went to improve and support the state’s public education. This money helped pay teachers and help the teachers purchase needed equipment in the classroom and helped fund early childhood development programs. Schools were also able to use this money to help pay for new techonoloy equipment, new books and other programs that do not ordinarily received adequate funding through traditional methods.
Tuition grants and loans: Another 45 percent of these earnings from the Oklahoma lottery program went to help fund college tuition grants, loans and scholarships. These went directly to the residents of the state looking for funding for higher education. It is important to realize that this is an excellent way to help residents of the state get funding to attend college and other higher education programs at public universities. In addition, a portion of this money is allotted to help enhance the Oklahoma School for the Deaf and the Oklahoma School for the Blind.
Still, five percent of this money went into the Oklahoma teacher retirement program and another five percent went to the School Consolidation and Assistance Fund.
When the proceeds from the lottery ticket sales are deposited, these funds are kept in a separate bank account for the education system. Each quarter, the Oklahoma Lottery Commision will take thirty percent of the promised funds and transfer that money into the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund, which is administered by the Office of the State Treasurer. This ensures that the proceeds are given to the correct program.
Even if you do not play the lottery or pick Powerball numbers on a regular basis, you certainly cannot deny the benefits of such programs in the State of Oklahoma. This state has found a good way to help fund much needed and necessary educational programs, while not forcing high taxes on residents. With the amount of lottery funds collected, it is easy to see that everyone benefits from the lottery in this state. The next time you are trying to decide whether or not to purchase a scratch off ticket or pick Powerball numbers, consider that you are making an investment in the future for the State of Oklahoma. Your money goes directly into helping the children of the state.