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How the lottery impacts teacher pay

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What about the lottery? That’s a frequent question when North Carolina officials lament a shortage of money for public education. Shouldn’t the state’s Education Lottery be raking in millions?

The answer: It is. And almost half of the $468 million expected in the coming year will go toward paying teacher salaries.

But the teacher spending, which was added during the recession, covered jobs that otherwise would have been cut. The money isn’t available for raises.

Here’s the lottery revenue budgeted for 2014-15:

•  Teachers: $220.6 million.

•  School construction: $100 million.

•  Prekindergarten: $75.5 million.

•  Scholarships: $30.5 million.

•  UNC need-based aid: $29.9 million.

•  Digital learning: $11.9 million.

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