Texas Education

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Fewer lottery dollars for schools?

Posted by Texas Education on July 9, 2008

From the Graham Leader Online Can it get any worse??

Quiet speculation that state legislators will be forced to revisit school finance when they convene in Austin in January is getting yet another boost. School district transportation budgets are taking big hits with escalating gasoline prices. But some might not realize the schools are also on the losing end of declining state lottery sales.

Capitol Update, published by Texas State Directory Press, Inc., says total lottery ticket sales — a combination of scratch-off tickets and printed “online” tickets such as Lotto Texas and Pick 3 — are down 1.8 percent to $2.65 billion from $2.71 billion in the same period last year. “Those who track the lottery say several factors are to blame for the decline, including newer, more expensive games, longer odds on existing games and worries about the economy and high gasoline prices,” The Update reports.

Rob Kohler, an Austin gambling consultant, is more succinct. It’s sometimes coming down to whether you want to buy a ticket or a tank of gas.” Lottery officials — and school officials, too — are closely monitoring the situation amid growing concern that lower sales will reduce the amount of money the lottery sends to public schools.

Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Transportation has announced it has abandoned plans to build part of the controversial Interstate 69/Trans Texas Corridor through rural areas north and west of Houston. Instead, TxDOT will stick to major highways, principally U.S. 59, for most of the southern route. If you’re wondering whether fuel costs, school finance and the proposed Trans Texas Corridor will dominate deliberations in state capitol chambers when winter returns, count on it.

With times as bad as they are, we are doing our part, buying tickets twice a week!! 🙂


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