EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Public schools will share millions of dollars from Utah’s Trust Lands

Nov 3, 2023, 6:30 AM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 5:58 pm

Each school gets to decide how it will spend its share of $106 million from the state's school trus...

Each school gets to decide how it will spend its share of $106 million from the state's school trust lands. (Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s public schools will share an extra $106 million this year from Utah’s Trust Lands

Utah’s Trust Lands makes money off of permits from the land. Permits are for things like oil royalties and grazing permits. According to the Trust Lands website, most of the Trust Lands revenue came from real estate last year. 

Of all the money the administration generates, a whopping 96% of it goes to public education, according to the website.

Each one of Utah’s 1,100 public schools will get a share of the money. Paula Plant with the Utah State Board of Education said each school’s community council decides how to spend it.

“They make the decisions at the local level about how to spend it,” she told KSL NewsRadio. “There’s not very much money that comes to them that way.”

But, the catch is it has to be used for academics.

Each school’s community council submits a plan to use the funds. Then the money is distributed from the state’s permanent school trust fund, which now stands at about $3.2 billion. It works out to about $143 per student. 

Plant said many schools use it to increase high school graduation rates.

“A number of high schools spend a large portion of their money on increasing graduation rates, which is a priority of the State Board of Education and has some really interesting results,” she said.

Other schools have spent it on field trips or hiring extra teachers and aides. 

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Public schools will share millions of dollars from Utah’s Trust Lands