Record $64.25 Million in School LAND Trust Funds This School Year
At an event at Nibley Park School, Utah State Treasurer David Damschen, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson, and School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) Director David Ure today announced the largest distribution from the Permanent State School Fund in Utah history.
The Fund’s disbursement to schools increased to a record $64.25 million – a 30 percent increase over the previous year’s distribution of $49.3 million. The spike in distributions is due to continued growth and investment of the $2.37 billion Permanent State School Fund and Utah voter passage of Amendment B in November 2016. Amendment B stabilized the Permanent State School Fund distribution to schools while continuing to grow the fund for tomorrow’s students.
“Every dollar we earn through prudent investment of the State School Fund is a dollar in school funding not paid by the Utah taxpayer – and this is the highest distribution in Utah history thanks to Utah voter’s passage of Amendment B,” said Treasurer Damschen. “These funds support the greatest academic needs at individual schools, such as classroom technology right here at Nibley Park.”
Under the School LAND Trust Program, investment revenue from the Permanent State School Fund is distributed to individual schools statewide each year to support academic programs. The School Community Council, comprised of parents, teachers and the principal, determines the greatest academic need at the school.
Nibley Park School’s Community Council chose to use its $44,238 disbursement in School LAND Trust Funds this year to increase student access to technology with a focus on improving math skills. They also funded a fine arts program, which included hiring a music instructor. This is one of many examples of the benefits of this funding, which comes at no cost to the Utah taxpayer.
“The School LAND Trust program brings millions of much-needed dollars to be used for direct instruction of students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson. “Schools develop these plans to improve student academic performance in targeted ways that are decided by those who know the school best.”
Annual distributions augment state education funding, and have grown from just $18.4 million in 2007 to $64.25 million this year.
“Over the past 10 years, SITLA has contributed over $1 billion to the Permanent School Fund, which is revenue generated from energy, real estate, and surface development on the 3.3 million acres of school trust land,” stated SITLA Director David Ure. “It’s a pleasure to see the positive impacts these fund are having in Utah classrooms.”