NC House Bill could double money to school construction, repairs - myfoxcarolinas.com

NC House Bill could double money to school construction, repairs

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A House Bill in it's early stages could nearly double the amount of money from lottery revenue appropriated towards school construction and repairs.

The bill is receiving support locally.

This week, Union County Commissioners approved a resolution requesting the Union County Legislative Delegation to fully support House Bill 1107.

"Every little bit helps in paying down a debt payment when you have $450 million of debt outstanding on school buildings and a payment of $45 million-per year," Union County Chairman Frank Aikmus said. "Every little bit helps."

House Members Dean Arp and Mark Brody, who represent Union County, are sponsors of the bill. The third Union County member, Craig Horn, is still giving thought to the bill.

"I must be concerned about what will have to be cut in order to shift state money to fill the requirements of House Bill 1107 as proposed," Horn said. "I am confident that we will have the opportunity to get a full explanation and have a good debate in both Appropriations and Education committees in the next couple of weeks."

Horn is the Vice-Chairman of both the Appropriations and Education committees and the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.

Currently, 45.8 percent ($220.6 million) goes to teacher salaries in grades K-3. 15.7 percent ($75.5 million) goes to the Pre-K program for at-risk-four-year olds. 6.3 percent ($30.4 million) goes to college scholarships based on financial need. 9 percent ($43.2 million) goes to the UNC Need-Based Grant program that provides financial aid based on need to UNC System students. 2.4 percent ($11.9 million) goes to digital learning.

The North Carolina Education Lottery began in 2005 and has since raised $3.3 billion. In the beginning, 40 percent of the final revenues were supposed to be spend on school construction and repairs. Over time, however, that number has dropped to 20.8 percent.

The new bill would incrementally increase the amount back to 40 percent by 2017.

Union County has received $24,382,729 since the lottery's inception.

A county-by-county report on lottery funds can be viewed at www.nc-educationlottery.org.
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