Schools Arenít Winning the Lottery, They Need More Funds

An Opinion Piece by Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R,C,Ref-Glen Head)
February 28, 2018

For as long as many of us can remember, it has been said children are the future. In my opinion, if children are the future, we must help and prepare them in any way we can for them to not only have successful lives, but for all of us to have a successful future. Providing every child with a strong and well-rounded education is the start of this endeavor. In order to accomplish this, schools must have the funds readily available to help each child achieve this goal.

When the state Lottery was created, it was determined the net funds would supplement education funding. This means that in addition to the funding our education system would get from the state General Fund, the system would get the revenue generated by the Lottery. However, this has not been the case in years past. Instead, the money from the Lottery is used to replace part of the money which is taken from the state General Fund.

I propose we use the funds for what they were originally intended for: strengthening our education system. Education is the most important program New York State can fund, as it helps prepare our children for their future. Additionally, by giving the education system the money intended for it in the first place, less money will be taken from taxpayers later on in the form of property tax increases when the education system ultimately needs more money. The revenue from the state Lottery is supposed to be supplementing education funding, not replacing part of the General Fund.

Many complain that by using both the Lottery revenue and funds from the General Fund to support education, little money would be left for the plethora of programs New York State has in existence. To this, I say we need to spend less, as education should be a top priority in New York. These programs canít function without well-educated people to run them, and we should be offering our children the best education possible. Not everyone goes to college, so we need to prepare our children, our future, for the best possible chance at life.