I urge Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, and chairman of the state's Ways and Means Committee to do the right thing with the winnings from the lottery. This is an open letter to Murrell Smith. Everyone in the state knows that education is to be the beneficiary of whatever is due to a state's winnings. We are the current state to win from the national lottery, and we have $61 million to put toward this cause. In 2010, we were ranked last* in the United States for education. We are currently No. 48. This is hardly something to be proud of years later. Now that we have won this money, Gov. McMaster is urging the congress and Senate to just distribute to all taxpayers. They vote next week! I assume this is a public relations stunt, but $50 to each person is like selling our souls for a bag of silver and letting the children of this state languish in 48th place. I am not a parent, and I am not a teacher, but I am embarrassed that the elected officials would vote to keep our children impoverished on so many levels in our school system. Parents and teachers need to contact Mr. Murrell and Mr. McMaster now, before next week, to put our children first. Our $61 million to education itself would change kids' lives and our standing within five years minimum. Teachers Association should decide what to do with it because they have the want and that knowledge. Who would disagree?
MARY ELLEN FULLER
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