TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Florida Lottery announced today a record $25 billion in transfers to Florida's Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. For the past 25 years, the Florida Lottery has firmly established itself as an essential and dependable funding source for public education; contributing more than $1 billion annually for the past 10 consecutive fiscal years. Lottery education funds are appropriated by the Florida Legislature and then administered by the Florida Department of Education.
"We are proud of this accomplishment and are very thankful to all Lottery players and retailers who have helped us reach such a significant milestone," said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell. "We will continue to strive to increase funding for education programs in our state for the next 25 years and beyond."
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Lottery recently unveiled a new brand and logo that better reflects the excitement of playing and winning Lottery games. Keeping the Lottery fresh and dynamic generates more awareness and, in turn, more funding for education with a more visible and modern image that attracts a broader population.
Governor Scott said, "Today's news that the lottery has reached $25 billion in investments for education is great news, and means more Florida students will have the opportunity to get a great education. My top priority is to create jobs and opportunities for Florida families – and since we took office, Florida has created thousands of new private-sector jobs. We have also worked to ensure that every student can access a great education. To provide greater opportunities for Florida students, we must continue to make targeted investments in education, and that's why my Florida Families First Budget increases education investments by $1.2 billion and provides every classroom teacher with a $2,500 pay raise."
"Winn-Dixie is a proud vendor of the Florida Lottery, offering a wide variety of games in our stores that appeal to our customers," said Mark Cooney, BI-LO Winn-Dixie Senior Manager of Front End Services and Operations. "Our strong partnership with the Lottery is a testament to the commitment of our associates to enhance education and contribute to the future leaders of tomorrow."
"As one of the more than 13,000 Lottery retailers, I am proud of the role that GATE plays in contributing to Florida's education system," said David Dill, Vice President of GATE Sales and Marketing. "Like the Florida Lottery, we believe in giving back to our community by supporting our youth and giving them the opportunities necessary to become successful leaders."
Florida voters, by a two-to-one margin, approved a constitutional amendment in 1986 authorizing the state to operate a lottery for the purpose of generating additional funding for education. These additional funds have contributed to K-12 programs in Florida's 67 school districts, community colleges and state universities, the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, other state student financial aid, and the construction and maintenance of public schools through the Classrooms First and Classrooms for Kids programs.
Over the past quarter century, Florida's state colleges and universities have received a combined total of more than $6.4 billion, and Florida's public schools have received more than $14 billion. Lottery funds have also contributed to the construction and renovation of 780 statewide school projects. To date, more than $3.9 billion in Bright Futures scholarships have been awarded statewide, making it possible for many of Florida's future leaders to enroll in state universities, community colleges and workforce education programs of their choice.
SOURCE Florida Lottery