Poll: Should Lotto $ Go Directly To Schools?

A Providence legislator has proposed a bill that would require new gambling revenue to go directly to education funding — what do you think?

Most Rhode Islanders of a certain age remain convinced that, when the idea of a state lottery was originally floated in the early '70s, it was "sold" by legislators as a surefire way to fund schools.

In fact, some younger folks still think that lottery revenue automatically goes toward paying the state's school funding.

On Wednesday, the Providence Journal's PolitiFact team reported that a claim made to that effect by state Sen. Harold Metts (D-Providence) turns out to be false.

Metts recently sponsored a bill (S-2737) that would split any revenue from new gambling establishments among Rhode Island's cities and towns — and following the huge $336 million lottery win in Newport, East Greenwich Rep. Robert Watson proposed a new law that would earmark taxes on big lottery payouts to education funding.

The Rhode Island Lottery's financial report for fiscal 2011 reported that the state's general fund received about $354.8 million from gambling, with the Lot's financial information web page reporting that 28.1 percent of that amount — an estimated $100 million — going toward education.

What do you think? Is it time to formalize how lottery and other gambling revenue is used by the state? Or do you think the General Assembly should keep the flexibility to spend the money in any way it thinks is right?

Cast your vote in our poll, and add your comments below.

Spring Street April 03, 2012 at 02:32 AM
EG RI Farm Store Sold 30K Winning Mega ticket check yours now !
Andie April 04, 2012 at 02:46 AM
It's not the teachers that are the problem with the education system, here in Rhode Island or in the country in general. It's the way that education in this country is structured, we teach to tests, we teach children to mark the correct bubble on their scan cards so that our schools will get the federal money they need to keep programs that are valuable to development like music and arts. It's not the teacher's fault they HAVE to teach to the ridiculous tests, and what little time they have to actually TEACH our children, they are repaid for with apathy or disdain from their students. For the record I am not a teacher, nor do I have any children the school systems at this moment.
Rob T April 04, 2012 at 11:28 AM
NK_Voter, Spoken like a person who doesn't have any idea about how anything works. "Can't you motivate these kids?" It takes two sides to get something done. If the teachers don't motivate, and the kids want to learn, then shame on the teachers. But if the teachers are trying to motivate and education is just not important to the kids then it won't work either. With all the obese people in our country, and all the health problems due to smoking, poor eating habits, lack of exercise...don't you think doctors are telling these people what they need to do so they can be healthy? Why can't the doctors motivate these people? I'll tell you why, because these people have been told what to do and they just don't want to do it, so they don't.
Concerned Resident April 04, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Seems that charter schools are the answer for all concerned......
NK_Voter April 04, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I agree Rob--I don't know everything about everything, but I know better that to start a comment with an insult. Do you think you know everything, oh sage of sages? Frankly, you just don't get my point. Read it again and think this time instead of giving us an emotional knee-jerk response.


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