CA lottery shorted schools by $36M, auditor claims

Now, the California State Auditor claims the lottery shorted the state by $36 million.

Posted: Feb 26, 2020 6:55 PM

CHICO, Calif. – $34 billion, that’s how much the California lottery has given to California schools since 1985.

Now, the California State Auditor claims the lottery shorted the state by $36 million.

Action News Now spoke with Assistant Superintendent at Chico Unified School, Kevin Bultema.

"Those dollars that we receive from the lottery really benefit the district as a whole," Bultema said.

The California State Auditor said the lottery owes schools $36 million.

Their findings read in part, “We determined that the lottery has not ensured that it maximizes funding for education and the State Controller’s Office (SCO) is not effectively overseeing the lottery’s performance.”

But, the lottery sent Action News Now a statement disagreeing.

“CSA incorrectly claims education contributions were underfunded by $36 million," the statement read.

Bultema was unaware of the CSA’s claims until Action News Now brought it to his attention.

“We don’t know what the impact is to Chico Unified specifically at this time,” Bultema said. “Currently, we receive about $700,000 a year in restricted dollars that we use for textbooks that helps us with our textbooks every year. Then we receive another $1.9 million in what we call unrestricted dollars and those really are used to offset teacher’s salaries.”

One parent, Jennifer Saxon, said they expect institutions to follow the rules just like people.

“That’s outrageous that there’s so much corruption that things are being taken away from children who need it so much and teachers are already underpaid and self-funding classrooms and I just think it’s a horrible thing to happen,” Saxon said.

Another parent, Cara Nielsen, who has kids enrolled in Parkview Elementary said the schools could use the extra money.

“I know the schools work really hard to get things to the students so they could really use that money the students could really use,” Nielsen said.

Again, the $36 million shortfalls are what the CSA is claiming but the lottery doesn’t agree with that.

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