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Payday from state lottery sales top $1.28 billion for education

October 01, 2013|By Carla Rivera
(Al Seib, Los Angeles Times )

California schools and colleges received $1.28 billion in lottery funds last year, the state controller’s office said Tuesday.

More than $1 billion was paid to K-12 schools. Community colleges received more than $168.5 million, the California State University system was paid more than $46 million, and the University of California was allotted nearly $30 million.

Other recipients for the 2012-13 fiscal year include the Hastings College of Law, the state Youth Authority, the Department of Developmental Services and special schools.

The lottery was created to provide supplemental funding for education. Since 1985 the lottery has distributed more than $25 billion, officials said. Operational costs are capped at 13%. Roughly one-third of total sales go toward education.

The controller’s office audits lottery funds, which then go to county treasurers to distribute to K-12 schools and community colleges according to student attendance. The university systems receive funding directly.

Lottery sales in the state totaled about $4.45 billion for the year and were boosted by the addition of the Powerball game, which began in April, said California Lottery Commission spokesman Russ Lopez.

Officials hope that the frenzy surrounding the large Powerball jackpots -- which start at $40 million -- will help increase earnings.

Gov. Jerry Brown, meanwhile, is trying to place more emphasis on how schools are using lottery funds to maintain reading programs, buy books and build libraries that otherwise would be victim to budget cuts, Lopez said.

“Once those monies are divided between every public school, the amounts do become more modest,” he said. “But if you put the small pieces together it becomes a critical part of funding for schools.”


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