We need lottery games for education segregated into local jurisdictions

Dear Mr. Landes:

I am writing to express my frustration and my anger after discovering what I believe is more corruption, theft, and deception than I was previously aware of arising out of my government at state and federal levels.

I live with this concern every day. I see corruption, theft, and deception in laws, tax code, policies, and practices. I see it federally, and recently a new discovery enabled me to see it at the state level with respect to allocation of lottery profits.

After buying scratch lotto tickets for Christmas stocking stuffers, I became interested in the allocations of profits. My research began with the table entitled “Making a Difference in Your Community” under FAQ’s at the State Lotto web site. It shows the distributions of profits across our state.

Inquiries to State Lotto officials led me to the Department of Education. The response I received from the DOE gave me a GLARING view of government corruption and deception in “cooked books”, partial disclosures, and non-transparent reporting. Seeing this red flag causes a resurgence of anger inside me, not only at legislators in the VA General Assembly, but also at federal legislators who tolerate it. This is the reason I am sending this correspondence to BOTH, state and federal representatives today.

I am not a strong advocate of gambling to raise revenues, particularly when I have observed that lotto ticket buyers often represent a socioeconomic demographic that appears to have an income deficit. I see people of presumably low income buying tickets probably hoping to “strike it rich” when their money could be better utilized for sustenance. However, when I consider that roughly 1/3 of VA lottery revenues route to the Department of Education, I take solace in knowing our losses can help improve the quality of education for everyone who receives public education in Virginia. This includes children born into needy families that I see represented demographically in the low socioeconomic group of ticket buyers.

BUT, when I researched HOW Virginia appropriates players’ losses (the lottery's profits), I was greatly disturbed by what I saw. The GA funnels more profits to jurisdictions where branches of military and U.S. government are primary employers. I hold no animus against government employees, but we already pay their/your salaries and benefits with our tax dollars, and we are sending more lotto profits to geographic vicinities enriched by their/your higher discretionary incomes too. Herein is the type of government crime that I repeatedly see at the federal level, and that disturbs me at the state level too!

The VA General Assembly routes enormous amounts of lotto profits to Prince William County, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, and Richmond schools. These areas have a strong government presence represented in populaces saturated with government &/or military employees for whom we pay salaries and benefits with our tax dollars. The salaries & benefits we pay boost their discretionary incomes,  enriching and adding wealth to those local communities.  Looking at Fairfax exclusively, I also see a public school pupil population infused with high percentages of refugees & immigrant children. This infusion enables the GA to deceive Virginians by distorting the DOE’s reports.

As much as 45% of the pupil population in Fairfax is comprised of language-minority, non-American kids according to data found online from the NCELA and from the Department of Social Services for Refugee Resettlement. By infusing the public school system with language-minority, non-American refugees, and immigrants, the GA enables the Dept of Ed to report a much lower per pupil receipt of lotto profits. But, when I adjust the demographic by subtracting the numbers of language-minority refugee and immigrant pupils from the total student population, I see that Virginians in this school system receive nearly as many lotto profit dollars per student as do students in Virginia’s financially needy and academically under-served counties were the pupil population is primarily American.

In essence, the VA GA is taking money from the poor and routing it to rich Virginia localities. It is using much of the money on school programs for immigrant and refugee children receiving their education in Virginia's most wealthy and most populous areas having far more academic resources than Virginia's under-served localities.  It is doing this in “politically correct” ways that conceal the deception and the theft from Virginia's academically under-served areas.

I hold no animus whatsoever against immigrants and refugees. BUT, America’s FIRST priority SHOULD be to its own citizens. The VA GA’s FIRST priority SHOULD be to Virginians! There is NO WAY Virginia will ever become an academically competitive state nationally when our state legislators behave as corruptly as this and when our federal legislators encourage and/or tolerate it. Why would I even want to play the lottery at all, even though I really think the cause is a good one?

I am so troubled by this that I really wish lottery games were segregated into local jurisdictions. I wish my own county of Augusta and its neighboring towns/cities had our own lottery games so that we could be assured our losses from playing stay right here at home, right here in our own community. I would be more inclined to play more often than at Christmas for stocking-stuffer scratch tickets. As it is now, I’m not inclined to play, simply because I have no interest in funneling more of my money to geographic localities in Virginia that I already support with my tax dollars paid in salaries and benefits to government employees, areas that are wealthy and have more resources because of it. Moreover, I am far more interested in school programs for Virginia's American citizens than I am in funneling more of my dollars to school systems infused with high percentages of immigrant and refugee children.

Our government’s deception and its theft are evident at BOTH, state and federal levels. WHY would any Virginian TRUST our representatives in state government or in our federal government either? You lie to Virginian Americans, you steal from Virginian Americans, and you cover up your “politically correct” crimes with partial disclosures and “cooked books” that distort the Department of Education's reports. Why should we trust ANY of you? Karen Powell

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  • Karen Powell
    published this page in Suggestions 2016-01-19 09:02:54 -0500
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