Tennessee makes community college free for all adults

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Abner, May 2, 2018.

  1. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing that out!
  2. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    New York authorities peddled that lie for years but eventually confessed that all 'revenues' go into one pot of money to be disbursed...well, who knows where?
  3. MattS

    MattS New Member

    Do you have a source for this information? Not that I don't believe you, but I'd be curious how such a thing could happen and how New York's lottery proceeds could be diverted since their web site still clearly indicates the proceeds go toward education. Tennessee's lottery is much younger (2002) and the following appears in the state constitution, as amended in 2002:

    ...the legislature may authorize a state lottery if the net proceeds of the lottery's revenues are allocated to provide financial assistance to citizens of this state to enable such citizens to attend post-secondary educational institutions located within this state. The excess after such allocations from such net proceeds from the lottery would be appropriated to:
    (1) Capital outlay projects for K-12 educational facilities; and
    (2) Early learning programs and after school programs.

    Given these constitutional protections and the state of politics generally in Tennessee, I'd be shocked if any money went anywhere other than education (save for lottery operating expenses and payouts, obviously).
  4. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Accounting chicanery. Lottery money would be but part of the education allotment so you'd have to look at the amount spent on education both before and after the lottery was in place. If more then you'd have to look at how much went to condoms, cucumbers, Al Gore fantasies and such.
  5. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I took great advantage of that. For something like 20 years, I was always taking night-classes at City College of San Francisco for free. (I think that I've taken an introductory class or two in every subject there is, from art history to zoology.) Lots of students were doing that. Night school was kind of a social scene in those days, people used the night classes as an alternative to singles bars. While I and countless San Francisco yups loved it, I'm not sure if it was the best use of state resources.

    California has a pronounced boom-and-bust economy. During one of the busts there were cutbacks to the inflated higher education system. Rather than eliminate programs and lay off instructors (the California state government is essentially run by the public employee labor unions) student tuition was jacked up.

    The majority of spending at most colleges and universities goes to faculty and administrators' salaries and benefits. Higher education institutions serve as engines transferring money from students'/tax-payers' pockets to professors' pockets (with maybe a little education/political indoctrination taking place on the side). Despite all the talk about higher education being a social good, just imagine that someone proposed that all professors and university administrators take vows of poverty (like their medieval friar predecessors) and accept dramatically reduced salaries and benefits, instead dedicating their lives to selfless scholarship. You would hear the screaming as far away as the Moon!

    I have to admit that I do like TN's idea of covering the lost tuition revenues with lottery proceeds. (It sounds like a good idea, assuming that it works.) While some might argue that the lottery is effectively another tax, it's a voluntary tax.
  6. MattS

    MattS New Member

    Actually, the "Lottery for Education Account" is a separate fund within the state's budget. Details about appropriations, revenues, and reserves for this fund can be found by looking at the publicly available budget documents.

    Given Tennessee's very open open records laws, open meeting laws, and the fact that government employees cannot conspire to put cheese on a seafood dish without someone leaking it to the media, I doubt any widespread unconstitutional violations of the legislative budget acts related to education funds are occurring. Since Tennessee is solidly Republican-controlled at the state level, I can definitely guarantee no funds have gone to "Al Gore fantasies" (LOL).
    Abner likes this.
  7. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I have fears that if it works at all, it might only be for a short time.

    California has a hugely lucrative state lottery. They insist that they plow all proceeds into education (after prizes, commissions to ticket sellers and administrative costs). But the K-12 and higher education systems still cry poor and the angst is palpable whenever cuts to the education budget are proposed in lean times. (You're hurting the children!) The lottery hasn't prevented free community college from disappearing into history years ago and today student tuition at all the public higher education institutions is growing at ever faster rates.

    The lottery money just disappears into a bottomless hole.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Like the saying goes, the lottery is a tax on being bad at math.
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I like that! And Phdtobe is right - a Government lottery is a form of (voluntary) taxation, once defined in Italy as "a tax on imbeciles." Just out of curiosity, I looked up where the billions from Ontario lotteries are spent. The lion's share goes to operate hospitals and "other Provincial priorities" - not named. Maybe it's financing some of our frequent billion-dollar boondoggles - failed E-health, scrapped Gas Plant costs, etc. I'm OK with the hospitals bit - maybe the balance should go to education. I'm not happy with a single dollar spent on sports of any kind - but that's just sour old me. http://www.olgslotsandcasinos.ca/blog-where-does-the-money-go-at-olg/

    I played lotteries for years - changed this past January. I still allow myself to spend $2 a week - a man's got to have his dream, right? The rest I put away separately - and it's for anything I like. Between it and my toonies, I've amassed $500 in extra savings so far this year. I'm spending some of it on a new laptop, this week. About time! ( I have a 1988 Sharp PC-4600, still in good shape, but it has two 720K floppies, no hard drive, CGA monochrome graphics - leading cause of blindness in the 80s? - and only runs DOS!) I was prowling the music store as well, then decided my four guitars were so good I didn't need a fifth! I might shell out for a good concertina, though - and they're expensive! Oh yes - $50 of that savings came from a $50 win on a $1 ticket.

    And Phdtobe's observation on Bingo tells it like it is. Lotteries and Bingo have caused (and fed) terrible addiction problems and sucked up a pile of rent and food money from those who can't spare it - but do anyway. After seeing the damage, I really don't know how a Church can justify its involvement in Bingo. A Government lottery? That's different. Nobody expects a Government to have a conscience.

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