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Idaho Lottery gives record $73 million to state agencies

Education

BOISE (Idaho Ed News) — The Idaho Lottery transferred a record $73 million to the state of Idaho Tuesday, the highest dividend in the lottery’s 33-year history. The money will be split between the State Department of Education and the Department of Administration to fund school building maintenance and repairs, and support state-operated facilities like colleges and universities.

House Speaker Scott Bedke and Idaho Lottery Commissioner Craig Corbett handed checks to state superintendent Sherri Ybarra and the Department of Administration’s Pat Donaldson at Tuesday’s ceremony.

Ybarra received over $45.6 million on behalf of the SDE Tuesday. The new funds will be split between the School Building Fund Account to support building maintenance and the Bond Levy Equalization Fund to pay interest on public school bonds across the state.

The lottery money that goes to K-12 schools is about 2% the size of the general fund budget for K-12, which currently sits at $2.1 billion. The money will be allocated to K-12 schools based on enrollment, Ybarra said.

Donaldson received the remaining $27.3 million for the state’s Permanent Building Fund to help maintain state-owned facilities, including public college and university buildings.

Tuesday’s event was held at Boise’s White Pine Elementary School, which used 2021 dividend funds for new carpet and fresh paint. White Pine was one of eight Boise district schools that used lottery funds for building maintenance.

“Funds from the Idaho Lottery help us improve our schools by paying for flooring and paint projects throughout our community schools,” said Boise School Board president Dave Wagers. “The end result is a positive school environment that supports learning for all students.”

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