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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Another reason school funding measures fail — under-funding by the lottery

California Lottery tickets
Mega Millions lottery tickets sit on a register at at a liquor store in Covina in 2012.
(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

To the editor: According to the state auditor, the California Lottery has been holding back funding from public schools, including $36 million in 2018. Last year, the Los Angeles Unified School District asked voters to pass a parcel tax to cover its increased expenses. That initiative failed, so the district is devising another funding measure that it hopes voters will approve.

Taxpayers and lottery players have often wondered why the school system always needs more money when the people of this state are spending hundreds of millions of dollars playing the lottery knowing that a percentage of these funds will go to schools.

If our schools really need the additional funding, which I believe they do, they should draft a proposal to increase their proportion of lottery revenue. Don’t try to ask the taxpayers for more money — it won’t work.

In addition, maybe the school districts need to collectively hire an outside accounting agency to watch over the funding and ensure that our students are receiving what they are legally due.

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Glen Kacena, Westchester

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To the editor: In 1984, I voted yes on the ballot measure to create the California Lottery. I thought it was a great idea to set aside 34% of the sales revenue for schools, creating a steady stream of income that we would not have to vote on again and again. Capping administrative expenses at 16% was a sound decision.

Now, I am appalled to read that in 2010, the state Legislature took it upon itself to change how the California Lottery determined its obligation to schools. How can lawmakers arbitrarily change a ballot measure that took a statewide vote to pass?

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Now, we are being asked to pass Proposition 13 because our schools need more money. I say vote no on this.

Your article states that the lottery has provided $6.7 billion to public education over the last four years. What happened to all that money?

Marilyn Klinger, Manhattan Beach


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