Parents look to lottery to solve school budget problems - CBS46 News

Parents look to lottery to solve school budget problems

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Seventy-eight-year-old Lee Pietrobon, and his 71-year-old wife Pat, are metro Atlanta's newest millionaires after playing the Georgia Lottery, and with the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots totaling more than $800 million, lotto fever is officially an epidemic.

Money from the Georgia Lottery supports the Hope Scholarship, voluntary pre-kindergarten programs, but with many metro Atlanta school districts facing large budget shortfalls, is it time to give school districts some of that money. Matt Kane is a father of three. He said local school districts should use the money.

"You can do that and still fund the Hope Scholarship. You might have to make the requirements for the Hope Scholarship a little more stringent, I know they have done that in the past few years and I support that, but our public education needs a boost," said Kane.

But others said the Hope Scholarship and pre-K programs are already underfunded and pulling money away from them would be the equivalent of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

"That is a good point. I was on a Hope Scholarship, but I definitely benefited from that so I don't know. It has to be some balance there," said Katherine Brunn.

Kane said something needs to be done to ensure all kids get a good education.

"State and local governments have had to tighten up all over the board and you hate it when it comes out of education because it might be one of the two to three most important things government provides," Kane said.

Changing state law is the only way to adjust how lottery profits are spent and there is no indication, it's an issue lawmakers plan to address during the next legislative session.

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