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Lottery Funds and Use in Education

November 17, 1985

Relatively low salaries and large class sizes are only two of the factors that prospective teachers have to face in deciding whether or not to enter this profession. Lack of preparation time and the non-existence of programs (teachers) to meet the needs of low-achieving students are but another two.

Your article by David Savage (Nov. 9) outlines the possibility of $243 million a year to be generated for California public schools from lottery monies. Local school districts should and will decide how to spend this revenue and are unlikely to place it into salary schedules.

Teachers are very concerned with exactly how school districts plan to spend this money. In the Ocean View School District, Huntington Beach, the board of trustees and the district's administration have targeted their expected share of the lottery money--approximately $400,000 this school year and almost $900,000 in 1986-1987--to offset their deficit spending. In other words, they plan to pay themselves back for spending more than they had available to them (so they say) in years past. Of course, they will continue to maintain an unjustifiably large reserve account "just in case"!

The Ocean View Teachers Assn. has proposed that all future lottery money not be spent for upgrading salaries but for the reduction of class sizes, the inclusion of preparation periods for teachers in grades 4 through 8, and for the hiring of specialists in the areas of remedial reading and math as well as in physical education.

Teachers are committed to taking every opportunity to provide the best for children. It appears as though the Ocean View School District is committed to watching it bank account grow!


Seal Beach

Cecile Maurice teaches in the Ocean View School District.

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