Audit Says California Lottery Withheld $36 Million From Schools

A scathing new audit says the California State Lottery failed to turn over $36 million owed to California public schools.

The review was conducted by California State Auditor Elaine Howle. The withholding of the $36 million ocurred because the Lottery “did not adhere to a requirement to increase its funding for education proportionate to its increases in net revenue,” she said.

In addition to the failure to remit the funds between 2017-2018, Howle’s office found an overall lack of prioritization of schools and a lack of oversight by the State Controller’s Office.

Auditors have recommended that the legislature require the $36 million to be paid. It is also recommending regular audits by the State Controller’s Office and the adoption of new policies and procedures. The shocking report comes just before voters are set to vote on a $15 billion bond for public schools. 

The California State Lottery says it disagrees with the findings, even though it supports the recommendations. The State Controller’s Office similarly disputes the conclusion that it has failed to provide adequate oversight.

Read the full report here.