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Utah schools get $39.2 million via School LAND Trust

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Posted at 3:49 PM, Aug 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-20 17:49:21-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Board of Education announced Wednesday they have distributed a record-high amount of money to schools in Utah this year via the School LAND Trust.

The School LAND Trust Office of the Utah Board of Education distributed $39.2 million in annual interest dividends from the $1.9 billion Permanent School Fund.

Tim Donaldson, School Children’s Trust Director for the Utah State Board of Education, stated in a press release schools would be seeing an increase in funds this year and that the funds from the trust come at no cost to taxpayers.

”School community councils will be receiving about 5 percent more money this year,” he stated. “This has become a substantial funding source for our schools, and allows parents a way to get involved and have a voice in helping improve the education of our students.”

The annual distributions have grown in the last ten years. In 2004, the annual dividends totaled $8.3 million. The release stated, “This growth is largely due to revenue generated by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), which has deposited more than $1 billion into the Permanent School Fund since 2004, and $125 million last year alone.”

School Community Councils across the state will be responsible for allocating the funds. The councils include parents, teachers and principals. Last year’s funds were used for things like hiring additional teachers, purchasing computers and technology and supporting various programs–according to a press release from the Utah State Board of Education.

SITLA manages 3.3 million acres of school trust lands for the public education system, and the revenue is generated from a portfolio that includes oil, gas, mining, real estate development, sales, leasing and permitting activities, according do a press release from the Utah State Board of Education.

For more information about the School LAND Trust Program, click here.