Under North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) guidelines, as directed by state law, lottery funds may be used for school construction only. Lottery funds can be used for debt service for construction projects after Jan. 1, 2003. According to this policy, lottery funds are not to replace monies that would have been used for public schools capital outlay projects but to supplement to funds.
The NCDPI guidelines specifically defines “construction” to include renovations, additions, and new buildings and infrastructure to serve educational facilities.
Bobby Norwood, director of maintenance for Duplin County Schools, said the windows need to be replaced prior to the air-conditioning project planned for the school.
“It would be better to go ahead and replace all of the windows at one time than waiting until after the air-conditioning has been installed and then removing the old window units and replacing the windows,” Norwood stated.
The air-conditioning project has already been approved and will be paid for from lottery funds.
According to Duplin County manager Mike Aldridge and figures from NCDPI, Duplin County has accrued in excess of $4,464,509 in lottery funds. Of those funds, $1,168,440 had been allocated as of December 2009. Along with air-conditioning project, the cost associated with replacing bleachers was one of the projects that is also using lottery money as its funding source.
Expenditures of lottery funds must first be approved by the Board of Education and submitted with the approval of the county commissioners to NCDPI for further approval. Those funds cannot be spent on any project other than the one specified when the project is submitted.
As of September, there was a projected distribution for 2009-10 of $147,228,083, with 65 percent divided among all LEAs (Local Education Agencies) according to ADM (Average Daily Membership) and 35 percent divided to those LEAs making “tax effort” above the state average. Duplin County has an estimated lottery distribution for 2009-10 of $1,030,905 with $322,344 already allotted for the first quarter of the year.