MOUNT VERNON — It’s said that lotteries are taxes on those who fail math, which lends a certain irony to lottery profits used for public education. Some $16 billion has been generated for education since the 1974 launch of the Ohio Lottery, and casino gaming has opened another revenue stream to Ohio’s public schools. Educators welcome the money, but are somewhat underwhelmed.
Schools are the lone beneficiary of lottery profits, but gaming taxes are split seven ways, with education receiving 34 percent. A sizable total of $130 million has been shared by schools since Ohio’s first casino opened in 2012. As the fund is divvied up, however, zeros melt away.
Ellen Scott is Treasurer of Centerburg Local Schools, which recently received a semi-annual casino tax allocation of $28,621, bringing its 2013 total to $56,851.
“We’re glad to have it, but in a general fund of $9 million it’s not really substantial,” Scott said. “It’s a drop in the bucket, really. State funding has dropped ever since we received stimulus money. That was never replaced, and we’re operating at 2007 revenue levels.”
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