Did you know that each time you play the lottery in California, you are helping to raise money for public schools in California?! Who knew that trying your hand at the big jackpot would also be a good deed!
In 1984, the California State Lottery Act (also known as Proposition 37) was enacted to authorize the establishment of a statewide lottery. Shortly after, the California State Lottery Commission was created to oversee the lottery operations. The purpose of the Lottery Act was to raise money for California public schools without increasing taxes on the public.
Initially, the Lottery Act required that 50% of the total annual lottery revenue be given back to the public in the form of prizes, 34% be allocated to public education, and no more than 16% be used for administrative costs. In 2010, the percentage allocated to administrative costs was reduced to 13% and a requirement was instituted that the Lottery meet the minimum levels of contribution to public education (34%).
So how does the lottery money get to public schools? The money designated for public education is initially placed in a special fund known as the California State Lottery Education Fund. The money is then allocated to K-12 public schools, community colleges, the California State University system, the University of California schools, and other educational institutions on a per capita basis. The overwhelming majority of funds (80.2%) goes to K-12 public schools.
The money is truly making a big difference in our schools. From 1985 to June 2016, the California State Lottery raised more than $30.9 billion for public education. Since 2000, more than $1 billion has been sent to California public schools each year. These funds have been used by public schools in a variety of ways: hiring teachers, running teacher workshops, keeping arts, music and science programs alive, investing in Advance Placement classes, and purchasing computers, software programs, and basic school supplies. While it accounts for less than 1.5% of public education’s overall needs, every little bit helps make our schools better. You can read firsthand how California public teachers have used the lottery funds by visiting the California Lottery website.
The moral of the story is this: the more California lottery tickets you buy, the more money is raised for California public education. Don’t wait, support our schools by ordering your lottery tickets today!