Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lotto's subsidies for education

Many people, including myself, have always wondered what the financial relationship between the New York State Lottery and education is. Recently, WNYT issued a report with some interesting figures. In 2010, lottery sales totaled more than $7.8 billion! $2.6 billion of this went to fund education in NYS.

Here's how it breaks down:

For every $1 spent on the lottery, $.34 goes to education, $.58 ends up in the pockets of the lucky winners and $.06 is allocated to retail commissions.

Local District Allocations:
  • Troy $7,324,914.37 
  • Albany $12,171,940.24
  • Schenectady $16,657,100.67
  • Shenendehowa $9,977,686.19
  • Bethlehem $5,473,766.79
  • Niskayuna $4,617,544.85 
I reached out to WNYT for a more detailed break down of the Troy allocation, whether or not this was combined for both districts or just the Troy district. A quick look at the both districts budgets didn't simply answer the question, therefore, lets assume its combined. A little over seven million dollars is granted to our two local school districts. To put this in perspective the Troy School District's budget is approx $95 million while Lansingburgh's is approx $38 million. The local benefit is just under $150 per Troy resident, utilizing the new 2010 census number 50,129. The lottery subsidies serve its purpose but it's not the windfall that some believe it to be in "funding education."

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