Thursday, July 31, 2014

Here's where lottery money is going this year

Teacher assistants positions appear to be rescued by money from the North Carolina lottery this year.

Remember, TA jobs were the big sticking point between the N.C. House and Senate budget proposals. The House wanted smaller raises and no teacher assistant cuts. The Senate wanted bigger raises and a sizable TA cut. The compromise came with a mid-size raise and no TA cuts.

That's possible because of an infusion of $113 million from lottery funds, according to the official budget document (page 8). It appears to be the first time that lottery money has been used to fund TA positions.

The legislature took some money from UNC financial aid and digital learning to make it happen.

Here's the full breakdown:

Classroom Teachers: $254,586,185 (up $34 million)
Teacher Assistants $113,318,880 (all new money)
Prekindergarten Program: $75,535,709 (unchanged)
Public School Building Capital Fund: $100,000,000 (unchanged)
Scholarships for Needy Students: $30,450,000 (unchanged)
UNC Need-Based Financial Aid: 10,744,733 (unchanged)
UNC Need-Based Financial Aid Forward Funding Reserve:  $0 (down $19 million)
Digital Learning: $0 (down $12 million)

Here's a chart of where lottery money has gone historically, from the state's official website:


Anonymous said...

You guys keep using terms like " mid sized raise". You do understand that thousands of teachers at the top get NO raise? Right? We are thousands below what we were promised when we signed on. THOUSANDS below where the scale said we would be by this time six years ago. Raise? They are taking longevity and that puts some of us in the red!

Anonymous said...

Hooray, Now can we give the teachers a dime raise?

Anonymous said...

Any raise for part-time community college faculty? Maybe a coupon for a free Whopper?

Wiley Coyote said...

-->>Prekindergarten Program: $75,535,709 (unchanged)

That is where the GA can cut. $75 million would go A LONG WAY towards teacher salaries and classroom needs.

A 2010 study by the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that though there were modest benefits to participating kids, they soon evaporated. "The benefits of access to Head Start at age 4 are largely absent by first grade for the program population as a whole," it admitted. "For 3-year-olds, there are few sustained benefits."

Anonymous said...

Teacher's salaries have been frozen since 2008. No cost of living increase.....zilch......nothing! This 7% AVERAGE 'raise' doesn't even bring us close to what we should have been making if the steps on the salary schedule had not been frozen. I'll be making approximately $1500 less what I would have been making at my experience level after six years of no increase at all.
PLEASE, stop calling it a raise! Not to mention the fact that our longevity pay (which every other state employee will continue to receive as a payment separate from their base salary) is being calculated as part of the new salary scale.
It's disgusting!!!!

Unknown said...


Yes, Gov. Perdue raided the Lottery Fund and yes the General Assembly took lottery money for Medicaid. However, the biggest changes in distribution have come between the three general sections of the Education Fund. (See Below)

50 percent would be used for early education and reducing class size,
40 percent would pay for school construction
10 percent would pay for need-based scholarships

That big change is the decreasing of funds for construction while bumping up spending to lower class size and need-based scholarships. Construction has now dropped to 25% of the fund.


To help balance the 2008-09 budget, Gov. Bev Perdue emptied $50 million from lottery reserves.
The 2009-10 budget diverted to the General Fund $69 million in lottery money slated initially for school construction.
In January 2011 $22.3 million were earmarked to cover a shortfall in federal Medicaid funding.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Observer's education coverage is that it's heavily influenced by people who are stuck in the status quo. Most of the people who make comments here are the older public school teachers who didn't get a big raise.

Andrew, in your article today, you failed to mention how the pay raise might change starting teacher pay for NC vs. other states. You don't talk much about how teachers get paid so little in their first years teaching that it's hard to attract anyone to the profession. This proposal by the legislature won't solve this problem completely but an 18% pay raise for young teachers should help. Getting more talented, young teachers into the profession represents an urgent need to improve classroom learning.

Andrew in your writing so far you seem to be heavily focused on the grievances of the veteran teachers. This is somewhat logical because these are the people who will email you the most and will post their complaints on your blog.

The people you won't hear much from are the thousands of local families who are quietly seeking out alternatives to the public schools and their antiquated employment practices.

Anonymous said...

This is not a " RAISE "

It is a sham and smoke and mirrors. The entire process is to keep the 1-5 year teachers. They will then be screwed over just like the 15 year and over teachers very soon.

Stole Longevity pay just like the Health, Dental and Vision benefits.It will NEVER return and soon neither will I!


Wiley Coyote said...


You still have Health, Dental and Vision benefits, you just have to pay more for them.

Just like the private sector. Here's the link in case you need to see what benefits you do have:

If you don't want your "raise", I'm sure someone will be glad to take it off your hands.

Anonymous said...

Dunn,,, Here is an assignment for you... Ask your legal department IF giving younger teachers a higher % of raises is a case of "Age Discrimination"? Would love to see a story on that information.

Anonymous said...

I can get benefits anywhere if I pay for it.


They have raided the lottery money and anything else to give this so called raise.

Benefits taken away NEVER to return:

80/20 Health
Lost Pension COLA to inflation

All of this $ taken away to now call it giving me a RAISE.

Experienced teachers have gottend HOSED and it will only continue. The money to fund this so called RAISE will run out in this state budget before the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

When I signed a contract I had all these benefits as well. Now I have none of them since 2008, or have to pay for them.

With this RAISE, I am now making less than I did with salary and benefits than in 2008.

How is this a raise? Many experienced teachers get a raise of 0.3% without the longevity bonus now as well as having to pay for benefits.

Yes many people in the privte sector have to pay for benefits. I took the job for less pay/salary because of the solid benefits package and pension. This is no longer competitive with the private sector.

Wiley Coyote said...


You've been saying for months all your benefits have been taken away. That may mean that taxpayers are no longer giving them to you for free or at an extremely low cost.

Either way, welcome to the real world.

We're all going to wind up on Obamacare so I suggest you start preparing.

Anonymous said...

The budget has more than $10,800,00 this year to pay for AP and IB exams!!!!

Take back our schools said...

Needs based scholarships really need some in-depth investigation. Are these students really achieving or dropping out after 2 to 3 semesters? Are they graduationg on time in 4 years or are they taking 5 to 6 years? We need to change at least 50% of this money to go to the B average or better students and pay for their college like GA does. These are the students that are going to pull this state out of the ditch.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more "Take back our schools". "Wiley" I know you dislike the pre-k program, but what would happen with these kids anyway is they would be put into corporate daycare, which is very expensive and the state would subsidize the rate. So where do you want your social program money to go: pre-k program (which is probably much cheaper to run and a more easily controlled learning environment) or have these 4 year olds in corporate daycare (Gateway Academy, KinderCare, Brighthorizons etc. and the learning environment is based on trust of the provider )

Pick your social program poison, because these kids will be going somewhere. Long gone are the days of neighborhood babysitters or home sitters.

Anonymous said...

apparently I am in the minority on this, but I thought teachers getting a well deserved raise is a good thing. I think this is a step in the right direction.

Wiley Coyote said...


I don't care where they go as long as taxpayers don't foot the bill.

They can stay home and watch cartoons if their lazy parents can't spend 30 minutes per day working with and teaching them or put them in pre-k type programs on their own dime.

Anonymous said...

Dont take away the benefits on my back, then give me a raise and tell me its raining !

Anonymous said...

Why should they care about the experienced teacher ?

They can hire TFA and out of college stooges on the cheap.If you didnt see this coming then you are a fool. This goes on in corporate America everyday.

Anonymous said...

If this is true:
A 2010 study by the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that though there were modest benefits to participating kids, they soon evaporated. "The benefits of access to Head Start at age 4 are largely absent by first grade for the program population as a whole," it admitted. "For 3-year-olds, there are few sustained benefits."

Then I would agree with you, that 75 million would be better spent on keeping and attracting effective teachers.

Wiley Coyote said...

11:00 am

Since 1965, over $180 BILLION dollars spent on Head Start, currently $8 BILLION dollars per year.

Anonymous said...

$75 Million


Ghoul said...

To all those teachers complaining about the pay freeze 6 years ago, do you have any idea who did that? The Democrats and Bev Perdue. I wonder how many of you continued to vote for them?

The Democrats said money was tight and they had to do something, yet did they cut any of their vote buying schemes? No, of course not, and don't forget Bevy stole money from the education lottery to rebuild he daddy's private pier.

Mark Payne said...

I have 25 yrs teaching experience, have seen several benefits go by the wayside, have been given raises, and in return give us an insurance premium raise to take it all back. I am more concerned about my 4 highest years of salary for retirement. It's a good thing I wasn't going to rely on a pension, I am planning on working at WalMart as a greeter until I am 90.