Will the Powerball affect public school funding? - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Will the Powerball affect public school funding?

AMARILLO, TX - On Wednesday night, one lucky winner could end up with the biggest Powerball jackpot of all time: $1.5 billion.

Forty-four states are playing the Powerball, and proceeds will have to be split among all of them.

In Texas, 27% of lottery proceeds go toward funding public education and are deposited in the Foundation School Fund.

Executive Director of the Texas Lottery Gary Grief confirmed to NewsChannel 10 that every dollar of revenue from the Powerball will go toward funding public education.

Revenue is what is left over after the winner gets their money and administrative costs are covered.

State Senator Kel Seliger says even this historic jackpot will not generate enough revenue for public education to see a real difference.

Since the jackpot was won last in November 2016, $70 million has been put toward the Foundation School Fund.

That sounds like a lot, but last year's annual revenue the lottery put toward education was more than $1.2 billion.

Seliger says that's just a "drop in the bucket" - that only accounts for about 3% of the state's $40 billion education budget.

Several local superintendents say they have yet to see the lottery increase funding for their school districts.

"People thought the lottery was somehow going to fund schools, or it would be a huge increase," said Seliger. "No. It was a small increase of overall funding. The biggest part of the funding will continue to be local property taxes and general appropriations."

The Powerball numbers will be drawn Wednesday night. NewsChannel 10 will air those numbers Wednesday during the News at 10.

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