SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Schools are slated to receive $95.85 million from the Permanent State School Fund in July 2022, according to a news release from the Utah State Treasurer’s office.
State treasurer Marlo M. Oaks said that this will make the largest-ever distribution of funds to Utah schools. The new distribution is a 3.2% increase from this year’s distribution of $92.84 million and a 7.9% increase from last year’s distribution of $88.83 million.
Under the School Learning and Nurturing Development (LAND) Trust program, investment earnings from the Permanent State School Fund are distributed to every school in the state. The community council of each school determines what the greatest academic needs are of their students and prepares plans to improve academic performance with the funds they receive.
“The funding for the School LAND Trust program is growing large enough to make an increasingly important contribution to student success according to the needs of each district and charter school in Utah,” Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson said.
Dickson also said that the funding helps hire aides who support teachers in various aspects of classroom instruction, including STEM instruction, online and in-person individualized instruction, and math and reading specialists. The funds also help with credit recovery support towards graduation and home visits with families.
The largest investment of funds has been toward technology which has been essential during the pandemic for instructors, according to Dickson.
School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) director David Ure said the program provides a substantial revenue source for school children.
“We also spend a lot of time [making] sure we consider possibilities for conservation, the impact on surrounding communities, protecting cultural resources and a dozen other things before we make a decision,” he said.
State treasurer Oaks applauded the program for its efforts.
“Their prudent administration of trust lands coupled with solid investment results are increasing the impact of the Permanent State School Fund for the benefit of Utah’s school children now and for years to come.”” she said.
Since 1999, the School LAND Trust Program has distributed a total of $797.3 million to Utah schools.