Texas Lottery and Education Funding
Texans believe that participating in the Texas Lottery helps the Texas Education Foundation but little do they know; how much money actually goes to the Texas Education Foundation. The effect of the Texas Lottery is causing more of a negative impact on Texans than the Education Foundation is benefiting.
The Texas Lottery negatively impacts the people that play the lottery and the programs that are supposed to benefit from the proceeds. Because of the big dream of winning, the lottery has taken a toll on Texans. “People believe that the Texas Lottery is their only chance to strike it rich” (Buckland, 2010). There is not near enough money going towards the Texas Education Foundation. When the lottery first started, the Texas Education Foundation was promised to benefit much more than they are now. Since 1996, the money raised for the Texas Education Foundation paid for two weeks of schooling but today it has plummeted greatly to only paying close to three days of schooling (Dexheimer, 2010). The outcome of the lottery is not what was projected. The current cash flow does not match the projections for the education fund as when the lottery was first initiated. “Last year, the lottery sold nearly $700 million more tickets than in 1998 – and gave schools $160 million less” (Dexheimer, 2010). The Texas Lottery is negatively impacting the poor and uneducated population. The Texas Lottery demographic studies provide contradictory information concerning the games and the profits benefiting the Texas Education Foundation, and prey on the poor (Turner, 2012). Statistics show the difference in
average money gambled between the educated and uneducated population. “College graduates spent a median ten dollars a month; those without high school diplomas, $25” (Turner, 2012). This research proves the negative social impact of the Texas Lottery. “In one of the most depressing, ever perpetuating social economic trends, new research from the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty shows that poor people continue to spend about nine percent of their annual income on lottery tickets” (Buckland, 2010). Texans believe that the Lottery is benefiting the Education Foundation but in reality the Texas Education Foundation is not receiving their fair share of proceeds. Therefore, the Texas Lottery advertisement has been misleading to the public. In a nut shell, the Texas Lottery is not delivering the benefits that were promised for Texans. According to the Texas Lottery in 1992, approximately 27 cents of every dollar the organization earned went to support Texas Education, but then in 1997, the Texas Legislature stepped in and made a difference by dedicating Texas Lottery Funds to the Texas Foundation School Fund and the Texas Lottery funded 13 billion dollars just within that year of change. (Hood,2011).
In 1991, before the lottery was approved by Governor Ann Richards in a televised address, she told voters that they had to choose between a huge tax bill or the lottery, if they wanted good schools. Then The Robin Hood Plan was proposed in 1993. This plan was endorsed by the State to offer court mandated fair school funding for the schools in district. Similar to the tale of Robin Hood, the law collected property tax money from wealthy schools and redistributed the funding to poor schools attempting to balance all school districts in Texas. This plan ended up falling through because the Texas Supreme Court found that the majority of school districts were being taxed the maximum rate, which the Texas Constitution prohibits.(Heines and Tinsley, 1997). In 1997, the lottery funds were placed in a general fund that was distributed to public education, health, public safety and human services. “There is no question that the Texas Lottery is the most successful state lottery in the country and is contributing more than a billion dollars a year to state coffers” (Heines &...
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