Utah State Treasurer David Damschen 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 $92.84 million from the Permanent State School Fund in July 2021, a 4.5% increase from this year’s distribution of $88.83 million and a 12.3% increase from last year’s distribution of $82.66 million.
Emery School District received $447,774 this school year. 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, comprising 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 outstanding work of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) in administering trust lands and the solid investment decisions of the School and Institutional Trust Funds Office (SITFO), which maximize the impact of the Permanent State School Fund. Their efforts, along with the work of the Land Trusts Protection and Advocacy Office, benefit Utah’s education programs now and for years to come,” Treasurer Damschen said. “Every dollar we earn through prudent administration of the land and investment assets is a dollar in school funding not paid by the Utah taxpayer.”
School community councils and charter trust land councils prepared plans for the July 2020 disbursement in the spring and are implementing them as this school year begins.
“The funding for the School LAND Trust Program is a reliable source of funding with flexibility for councils to address the unique needs of their students. During this challenging pandemic, some schools are addressing the needs of remote learning. Principals are grateful for the funds and the increase from year to year,” Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson said. “The first year of the program, the average per-pupil amount was $10. The distribution has increased to an average of $133 per student. The funds allow for meaningful decision making at the most local level.”
The School LAND Trust Program has distributed a total of $704.4 million to Utah schools since its inception in 1999.