THINK ABOUT IT EDITORIAL: Lottery funds for education

THINK ABOUT IT EDITORIAL: Lottery funds for education

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is commentary by Joe Hengemuehler, Vice President and General Manager of KOLD News 13. Viewers with responsible opposing views are welcome to respond by clicking HERE.

As our state's teachers and lawmakers face off over education funding, a viewer asked us this question:  What about all the money from the Arizona Lottery and casinos?  Isn't that supposed to help education?

You may be surprised to find out very little money is earmarked for education.  Out of the $11 billion the lottery has raised over the past three decades, most of it has gone into the general fund, which lawmakers can spend any way they like, along with transportation projects and other programs.  Little, if any, has gone directly to our state's schools.

As for casino money, an analysis by the Arizona Republic found it works out to an extra $45 per student each year.

Obviously, we can do better.  We've heard proposals for tax increases and rolling back tax cuts.  Maybe we should look at the lottery and casino money first.

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