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Ohio Lottery Commission reinstates spelling bee funding

Beacon Journal staff report

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After discontinuing funding and considering a reduction in program support, the Ohio Lottery Commission has reached an agreement with Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“We have reinstated funding for the spelling bee. We will be paying for enrollment fees for Ohio schools,” lottery spokeswoman Danielle Frizzi-Babb wrote in an email Thursday.

In August, the lottery discontinued $178,000 in support for the spelling bee, citing budget constraints that left the state program operating at 2008 levels, according to the Associated Press.

After considering the reinstatement of only $150,000 and deferring resources to Funding for Ohio Responsible Gambling (ORG), Scripps and the lottery commission reached an agreement in December to reinstate $180,000 to fund the spelling bee.

“It will cover the fees entirely for each Ohio school that enrolls in Scripps,” said Frizzi-Babb, who added that funding for ORG would not be reduced because the commission had decided to fully fund the spelling bee.

“We appreciate that the Ohio Lottery stepped up to make this happen,” said Chris Kemper with Scripps.

The Ohio Lottery Commission has sponsored the spelling bee since 2008, funding $115 enrollment fees for 1,579 Ohio school’s last year.

This year’s weeklong national bee, known as Bee Week, begins May 26 and ends June 1.