Putting Education Reform To The Test

Could Florida Schools Strike it Rich With New Casinos?

Stringer / AFP

A Florida lawmaker has introduced a bill to earmark gaming revenue for education. Lawmakers are likely to debate allowing megacasinos.

A Jacksonville state Senator has filed a bill that would earmark gambling money for K-12 education as state lawmakers prepare to debate allowing megacasinos, according to the Jacksonville TImes-Union.

The bill would set aside 2 percent of gaming revenue for a Department of Education endowment and juvenile justice.

But is it a good idea to rely on gambling to fund schools?

Lawmakers have had to restrict eligibility for the lottery-funded Bright Futures scholarship program as revenues have flattened, and eventually declined, in the past few years. Lottery revenues typically plateau as they reach “maturity,” experts say.

Last year the lottery generated $1.19 billion for education, down from $1.29 billion in budget year ending June 30, 2009.

But interest in Bright Futures is growing — forcing lawmakers to raise eligibility standards for students graduating in the next few years.

What do you think? Is gaming revenue a good idea? Is it a short-term fix to consider?


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