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Schools' Lottery 'Win' Is a Myth

December 10, 1987

There is a myth being perpetuated that the public schools are "big winners" in the California Lottery. Let's look at the facts.

In 1986-87, the public schools received a 34% share of the lottery revenue. This was equal to approximately $94 for each child in school. In the same year, one high school anatomy book cost $34, the reading materials for one first-grade student cost $30, and the literature materials for one sixth-grader cost $24. Essentially, the lottery money bought the equivalent of three books per student.

Lottery funds are unpredictable. Schools receive their "cut" based on the number of tickets sold in each quarter. Because of the uncertainty of these funds, the Rowland Unified School District has determined that it cannot allot funds to projects which have recurring costs (salaries, class size reduction, etc.).

Across the state, the lottery funds constitute only 3% of the public school budget. Because of the poor financial state in which California's public schools find themselves, we are appreciative of any and all funds coming to our schools. We do not want the public to be duped into believing the lottery has solved the financial problems of our schools. The lottery has definitely not made our children or our schools "big winners."

SHARON S. ROBINSON

Superintendent of Schools

Rowland Unified School District

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