$25M redirected to repair schools hit by Florence

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor is taking hold of state lottery profits and sending $25 million to repair schools with immediate needs after damage caused by Hurricane Florence.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday he’s acting to speed up repairs, with priority in eight counties hit the hardest. Cooper’s office says seven public school systems remain closed since last month’s storm, keeping nearly 90,000 students out of classrooms in more than 130 schools.

The Associated Press asked Cooper’s office whether he had the authority to redirect the spending of lottery funds. His spokesman pointed to a state law that allows governors to reallocate funds in an emergency if other funds are insufficient.

Cooper’s office says the emergency school repair money will be administered by the state Department of Public Instruction.