Skip to content

Lottery raises $323M for education programs

Lottery raises $323M for education programs
By LUCAS JOHNSON II
Associated Press
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lottery officials announced Monday that the lottery has raised more than $323 million this year for state education programs, the eighth consecutive record-setting year.
The figure is a 10.2 percent increase — or roughly $30 million — over last year’s then-record of $293.4 million, officials said.
Data from the Tennessee Student Assistance Corp-oration, which oversees lottery-funded programs, show more than 600,000 scholarships have been awarded to in-state education institutions since the lottery’s inception in 2004.
Total education funding since then stands at more than $2 billion.
“Across the corporation we’ve focused on our mission to serve Tennessee students and their families by maximizing proceeds for the education programs funded by the lottery,” said Rebecca Hargrove, president and CEO of the lottery.
A Republican-backed proposal that failed during the recent Tennessee General Assembly sought to cut students’ lottery scholarships in half, depending on lottery revenues.
The legislation looked as though it might pass after being approved in the Senate 20-10. But the measure was withdrawn from consideration in the House Finance Subcommittee when the sponsor recognized he didn’t have the vote to pass it. 
Under the proposal, the lottery scholarship requirements wouldn’t change if lottery proceeds matched, or exceeded, the previous year’s through 2015. 
An original proposal sought to reduce by 50 percent the award for students who do not meet both standardized testing and grade requirements.
Currently students can get a scholarship worth $4,000 for each of four years if they either earn a 3.0 grade point average in high school or score a 21 on their ACT college entrance exam.  
The problem sponsors of the change ran into was trying to convince their colleagues the reduction was necessary when Tennessee lottery officials were reporting strong revenue figures that aren’t expected to decrease anytime soon.
The lottery had more than $1.3 billion in total sales this year, surpassing last year’s record of $1.2 billion, officials said.
“We continue to hone our business model, developing new and innovative product offerings for the playing public, expanding our retailer base, emphasizing customer service, and operating at all times with efficiency and the utmost integrity,” Hargrove said. “In this fashion the lottery succeeds and access to education is advanced in Tennessee.”
Published in The Messenger 7.17.12

Leave a Comment