Utah State Treasurer David Damschen today announced that the Permanent State School Fund will make the largest-ever distribution to Utah schools next year.
Schools are slated to receive a record $82.66 million from the Permanent State School Fund in July 2019 – a 12 percent increase from this year’s distribution of $74 million and a 29 percent increase from last year’s distribution of $64.25 million.
Under the School LAND Trust Program, investment earnings from the Permanent State School Fund are distributed to every school in the state based on a per pupil formula. Each school’s community council, comprised of parents, teachers and the principal, annually determines the greatest academic needs of their students and prepares plans to improve student academic performance with their portion of distributions from the fund.
“I applaud the great work of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) administering trust lands and the solid investment decisions of the School and Institutional Trust Funds Office (SITFO) maximizing the impact of the Permanent State School Fund. Their efforts benefit Utah’s education programs now and for years to come,” Treasurer Damschen said. “Every dollar we earn through prudent investment of the fund is a dollar in school funding not paid by the Utah taxpayer.”
Since SITLA’s formation in 1994, the agency has generated nearly $1.9 billion in revenue to help grow the Permanent School Fund from $76 million to $2.4 billion.
“At SITLA, we strive to administer trust lands as effectively as possible for Utah’s schoolchildren, generating revenue from energy, real estate and surface development on the 3.3 million acres of school trust lands,” SITLA Director David Ure said. “The best part of my job is visiting schools and seeing the positive ways schools use their distributions to create better educational experiences for students.”
Legislation enacted in 2014 created SITFO as an independent state agency tasked with the investment of these funds. SITFO is overseen by a five-member Board of Trustees composed of investment professionals and chaired by the state treasurer.
“As a team of outcome-oriented investors, we strive to prudently optimize the return on the School and Institutional Trusts’ investments for Utah’s public education programs,” SITFO Director and Chief Investment Officer Peter Madsen said. “It is always very rewarding to see the figures come to life and help make a real impact in Utah classrooms.”