For more than three decades, the California Lottery has sent money to public schools in the state thanks to a ballot proposition approved by voters in 1984.

Every time school districts are facing slashes to their budgets – like the big cuts coming to San Diego Unified and other schools across the county – people often wonder why the lottery money doesn’t provide more of a cushion.

San Diego Unified has received about $490 million in total, or close to $16 million per year from the lottery. That may sound like a lot, but the district’s general fund revenues this year alone are near $1.3 billion, so it’s really just a drop in the bucket.

In this week’s San Diego explained, NBC 7 San Diego’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Ashly McGlone clear up any questions about the lottery money flowing into San Diego schools.

    This article relates to: Education, San Diego Explained, School Finances

    Written by Kinsee Morlan

    Kinsee Morlan is the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She works to expand our reach and helps community members write op-eds. She also manages VOSD’s podcasts and covers the arts, culture, land use and entrepreneurs. Contact her directly at Follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe to her podcast.

    John H Borja
    John H Borja subscriber

    Things weren't supposed to go that way. While legislators have increased per pupil spending, that spending was supposed to enhance whatever Lotto "earnings" were acquired. Californians did a great service to our "indian" friends and did not propose any takeways for them. At the same time children, in general, got the shaft over and over again over the last 30 years. 

       California was on top of the "ed" map all of the 1960's because of economic growth and population growth. Then, idiot tax freaks, Jarvis, for example, saw their tax bills rise and went "nuts". So, then, Prop. 13 was improperly sold and along with the jerk and pull of the Legislature, kids got crayons or teachers provided crayons depending on the whims of Sacramento. 

        What Jarvis and his idiots didn't understand is that the best possible bargain was dumped in the name of "cheap".  Our public school system is the best bargain for taxpayers...ever. From our public schools we get kids going to public colleges and graduating to make money and recirculating public money. 

         As poorly as our public schools are supported, we still graduate the best and the brightest from those schools in far, far greater numbers than ANY snobby private schools.  Numbers do not lie.

         So? Let the schools have their slice of the Lotto pie, but do not take money away because they do. 


    John H Borja
    John H Borja subscriber

    Here's the part you didn't mention. From the very start Sacramento saw the Lotto "earnings" for schools and cut education spending by near equivalent amounts. Things were supposed to go that way