NCEL was awarded the prize for achieving the highest percentage increase in funds to its beneficiaries. Net profits for education increased 19 percent from the previous year. Last year, North Carolina public schools received $414 million.
I don’t support the lottery. However, one of the things I like even less is how the money is distributed. Most people think the money is going straight to the classroom. It’s not. Whle 50 percent of net proceeds (about 35 of total revenue) is designated for class-size reduction and pre-school programs, 40 percent of net proceeds are also designated for school construction and 10 percent for scholarships. I bet — no pun intended — most teachers would be hardpressed to tell you where the lottery money went.
I think we’re suppose to feel good about NCEL’s award. I don’t. No matter how much you dress it up, it’s still gambling. It’s state sanctioned. It preys on those who can least afford it. And it corrodes our work ethic and other values that we ask our schools to respect and instill.
The “Sharp Award for Good Causes”? It’s Orwellian.