Getting Answers: How do area schools use lottery funds?

WEST SACRAMENTO – After Tuesday’s historic Powerball drawing, there is now a billionaire walking around Southern California — but this person is not the only winner.

Powerball fever may be over, but the money is still rolling in.

California Lottery officials say public schools, colleges and universities will receive $156.3 million from the latest jackpot. Though, academic institutions are cashing in from ticket sales.

Just like what would lottery hopefuls do with a cool $2 billion, many people had a lot to say about how schools should spend money.

“They should throw it into their education program, probably laptops, books,” said Titus Barnett of West Sacramento.

“Teachers’ salaries,” said Selia Cleghorn of Sacramento.

“It’s important to get good people,” said Rene Quintanilla, a former educator. “You have to pay them.”

A lottery database details the latest fiscal quarter and shows how much area districts receive.

According to the California Lottery, Elk Grove Unified School District received the most with more than $4.4 million. Sacramento City Unified School District received more than $2.7 million. San Juan Unified saw more than $2.69 million and Natomas Unified saw more than $721,000.

But, how is it spent?

“It’s very alarming and it’s been a concern [for] teachers for years,” said Nikki Milevsky, the first vice president of the Sacramento City Unified School Teachers Association. “Where is that lottery money? We don’t see a dime of it.”

The teachers’ union claims Sacramento City Unified lacks transparency.

A district spokesperson countered the claim saying most of the lottery funds go to teachers’ salaries and benefits with a smaller portion used for textbooks and instructional materials.

San Juan Unified told CBS13 it’s also used for teachers’ salaries.

Elk Grove Unified said it’s used to support the purchase of a district-adopted core curriculum.

You also might be asking: how is the pot split?

Lottery officials say they set aside money from ticket sales into a fund for schools. Every quarter, it transfers the money to the state controller’s office which then divvies up the money based on factors like average daily attendance and full-time enrollment

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Matt Lucas

Writer by day and an aspiring Artist by night. Creative thinking is what I'm all about. Lottos are one of my passions and I'm happy to be contributing to Lottery Papa News

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