Richmond can't gamble funds for Virginia's students and schools
November 28, 2011
Virginia's lottery was created to provide extra money for public education. Over time, politicians shifted that money to cover basic funding the state is obligated to provide to keep our schools operating and now none of it is extra. Today, Virginia's lottery money pays for programs that benefit low-income children. The number of low-income families in Virginia is rising while the money politicians in Richmond want to pay for these programs is going down. (Virginian-Pilot)
Progressive Point: Pushing funding for education programs for Virginia's low-income children onto an outside funding source like the lottery was wrong to begin with. Now, not matching the funding of these important programs with the rising need is even worse. Richmond has an obligation to our students and schools, and forcing them to rely on the lottery is not in line with Virginia's values. Furthermore, Governor McDonnell and other conservative lawmakers already plan more cuts to public education in the new state budget. Virginia's students and schools can't afford to have politicians in Richmond not meet their needs and gamble funding their future on the lottery in a recession.