You likely read about Ohio’s record lottery profits this year and the windfall that schools would be expecting.  The news articles had some version of the following that appeared in the Dayton Daily News:

The Ohio Department of Education hit the jackpot in the past fiscal year, claiming the largest education payout in state lottery history — $771 million.  By law, all lottery profits go to the Ohio Department of Education to support K-12 public schools.  The previous record profit transfer of $748.8 million was set in 1997, the Ohio Lottery reported.

Lottery proceeds make up about 6 percent of the department of education’s general revenue fund $7.6 billion budget and carry even more weight in an era of government cutbacks and declining tax revenues in many school districts.

“Every dollar counts, so any money is important money to the department, especially this year,’’ said Patti Grey, a spokeswoman for the department of education.

Not so fast.

This morning, a joint news release by three major Ohio education organizations is setting the record straight. The Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio Association of School Business Officials, and Ohio School Boards Association issued a two-page statement explaining how Governor Kasich is once again playing games with education funding.

“While it is true that all Ohio Lottery profits are used by the state to fund education, the profit from increased sales was simply used to free up other state funds that had previously been set aside for schools, allowing more money to be transferred into the state’s rainy day fund,” said OSBA Executive Director Richard Lewis. “No increase in this year’s funding for school districts will be available as a result of these unexpected profits.”

Another Kasich bait-and-switch.  On one day you’ll hear him talking about the record profits, and the next he’s bragging about his ability to magically increase Ohio’s rainy day fund while refusing to restore cuts to local governments and schools.

More from the news release:

For fiscal year 2013, Ohio’s school foundation payment program funding for traditional and community schools will be $7.2 billion. This is the amount established by Gov. John Kasich in his budget adopted in June 2011. The amount will not increase as a result of more lottery profits without action by the governor and the legislature.

To clarify — the adopted budget sets the funding levels for schools.  When the lottery profits go to fund schools, the cap remains the same, creating a funding surplus that, instead of remaining in education, returns to the state and, in this case, the Governor’s fund.  This is flat-out deception.  And while others have called on Kasich to release the rainy day funds to restore cuts, no one has had such a direct claim to the funds until now:

“We urge Gov. Kasich to use this ‘extra’ state money from the increased lottery profits to restore the budget cuts to education that were included in the current state budget,” said OASBO Executive Director David Varda. “It should also be utilized to help fund schools in the future as Gov. Kasich develops a new school-funding formula.

“OSBA, BASA and OASBO will be working diligently to advocate for appropriate funding levels for Ohio schools, including the continued use of Ohio Lottery profits. In the meantime, we want to make it clear that school districts will not see automatic increases in funding as a result of the increase in lottery profits.

The Governor’s Rainy-Day fund?  That’s your child’s money.


  • Philly

    I dont think the money should go to Ohio Dept of Ed at all. Send it directly to the schools in need. ODE has shown that they have no sense of fiscal responsibility. They are the most wasteful agency this state has ever seen. As a taxpaying citizen I am calling for an in depth investigation of this agency and their spending, ethical action, overstaffing, contractor use and poor excuse service to the kids of Ohio.

  • Conservative

    Don’t send it to the schools. Teachers are the most overpaid people on earth.

  • StubbornLiberal

    I thought Ohio voters determined that lottery money would be used for education. Is Kasich’s move going against the will of the people?

  • JoeRecruitNik

    Of course it is. Kasich isn’t worried about the will of the people, just certain people who helped him get where he is.

  • Brent Westover

    They are getting all the lottery money. They are just not getting other money they expected. This has been happening as long as the lottery has existed. The lottery funds go to the schools, but that means the State doesn’t spend their “other” money that they would have spent for the schools if there wasn’t lottery funds.

  • Conservative

    100% of the lottery money goes to education.

  • tandemman

    This is just what everybody expected to happen when the lottery was approved decades ago. I am curious, can anybody tell me what percentage of the state budget went to schools before the lottery, and what portion after the lottery– WITHOUT counting lottery funds? It would be tough to compare because of changing programs, additional programs, etc. but I would bet it has gone WAY down.

  • westparkguy

    This is crap!

    Why isn’t every major TV Station and Newspaper reporting on this. Cleveland is trying it pass a 15 Mil levy this year because of the lack of funding coming from the State. That means people with a $100,000 dollar house in Cleveland will be paying an extra $500 a year in property taxes.

  • westparkguy

    Dude, this isn’t you being a cheapskate and not giving your kid $50 bucks.

    We are talking about the promise to the voters that Ohio Lottery profits will be given to the schools. The voters did not expect that schools would be shortchanged when there are record profits in the Ohio Lottery. What would have happened if the Lottery Profits were not as expected? I’m sure Kasich would have cut the schools budget.

    Kasich is playing a shell game that moves any profits from the lottery into the Rainy Day fund.

  • Brent Westover

    No, the lottery money is going for the schools. The State is just not spending the general fund for the schools. Just like the example above. The lottery profits have always been a shell game. It never increased school spending, just ear-marked that money for schools and the general fund ended up spending that much less. The people who voted for the lottery was sold a bill of goods. The impression was the lottery would increase the school funding. That was never true or was it ever said. What was said is that the lottery profits would go to schools. That is happening. Not something that Kasich is doing, it is how it has worked since the lottery was formed.

  • Conservative

    Westpark… Maybe the big words confuse you, but 100% of the lottery proceeds IS going to the schools.

  • JoyceEarly

    What I heard from a retired lottery worker,
    the state takes away funds based on the lottery earnings, so there is really no net gain for the schools. On top of that the bearcats at the lottery at the top are making bank. Tons of chiefs compared to Indians. Most corrupt state creation on record. Kasich also failed to pay the Federal
    government several years in a row now and business owners are now paying as much as triple for FUTA. I know first hand I wrote the check and spoke to the IRS about the strange increase in the tax. Kasich is a worthless POS!

  • Conservative

    Not true. Good story though.

  • JoyceEarly

    What isn’t true?

  • Conservative

    All of what you said… Lol

  • Talan

    the lottery profits have never and will never cause an increase in school funding. With the lottery profits the state legislators just decrease the general fund amount given to the schools. It the lottery produced enough profit to totally fund schools, the state would use revenue that should go to schools out of the real estate taxes to fund anything and everything EXCEPT education. That’s the way it always has been.

  • Raindog

    Another great Presidential Hopeful, Where do you dig these people up? Makes Bernie look better every day. Tired of following crooks to the jail. Get some one who cares in all the levels of office. stop letting them tell you how to vote.

  • Conservative

    This isn’t deception at all. Its called budgeting. Why should the education budget be flexed? Simple answer… It shouldn’t.

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