Recently, several articles have been published by the Sun Herald about the approved state lottery and that Gov. Phil Bryant is showing interest in furthering this discussion.
The Sun Herald’s “Mississippi voters approved a lottery 24 years ago, so where is it?” (Oct. 9) article included a breakdown of each state and their lottery designations. Thirty of our states designate all or some lottery money for education. Mississippi is one of only six states that doesn’t participate in a lottery.
I decided to compare lottery designations and educational systems.
According to WalletHub.com’s article “2016’s States with the Best & Worst School Systems,” the top 10 states for educational systems were Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maine, Delaware and Minnesota. Of these top 10 states, five used lottery money strictly for education, while one state divided the money among cities and towns to use at their own discretion, and four states did not include education as a designation in their lottery. While lottery money in these four states did not go toward education, it may mean that they already have a strong educational budget.
The bottom 10 in the U.S. for educational systems were Alabama, Oregon, Nevada, West Virginia, Mississippi, District of Columbia, Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico and Louisiana. Six of these 10 had lotteries, but only two earmarked some money for education. The other four did not have lotteries. Can you see a correlation here?
Underfunding in Mississippi continues to prevent school districts from raising standards. I would only support a lottery for Mississippi to benefit our education system. Who else is in?