LANSING—More than $1 billion in profits collected through the Michigan Lottery last year are now headed to the state’s School Aid Fund to provide much-needed cash for public schools.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the $1.25 billion deposit on Thursday—marking the fourth consecutive annual contribution of more than $1 billion. In total,more than $27 billion in state lottery profits have gone on to support public education programs across the state since 1972.
“The Michigan Lottery’s contributions to our schools over the last 50 years have helped students across the state succeed,” Whitmer said in a statement. “These funds help us continue making historic investments in public education, and give every student the tools they need to succeed.”
Under state law, profits from the state lottery must go to the School Aid Fund—which funds the bulk of the public education system in Michigan, including the operation of special education, early childhood and technical education programs, as well as funding for student meals.
For every dollar spent on a lottery ticket this year, $0.25 went to the School Aid Fund. The rest was divided up between player prizes, commissions for lottery retailers and administrative costs.
More Funding En Route
Whitmer has prioritized public education in the first weeks of her second term, including with a $79 billion budget plan last month that included substantial investments in the public schools.
READ MORE: Whitmer Budget Plan Prioritizes Tax Cuts and School Funding
Another deposit into the School Aid Fund—this time for $19 billion—is still on deck, and will ramp up per-pupil funding for local schools by 5%. Whitmer’s budget also includes $300 million to help local districts hire more teachers, and offer free preschool for all 4-year-old students.
Also included in Whitmer’s education budget proposal: Nearly $1 billion for a new “rainy day fund” to help cover schools’ future budgetary needs and $618 for school safety programs and investments in student mental health supports. Other portions of the budget are designed to catch students up on pandemic-related learning losses and create free preschool programs.
READ MORE: New Plan Could Feed Michigan Students All Year Long