Idaho schools get $61-million Christmas gift

Idaho educationIt is a very Merry Christmas for Idaho’s public schools this year. Public schools are receiving a $61,532,200 distribution for the current school year, which is the largest portion of the $100,315,00 distributed to all endowment beneficiaries. Funding for this distribution comes from money earned from managing endowment land and investments.

The Idaho Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board) presented a symbolic check to Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield and the youth in the Capital Singers today during its holiday celebration in the rotunda.

“It is exciting to receive this check on behalf of Idaho’s school children from the hard earned money from the endowment fund,” said Critchfield. “The men and women of Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and the Endowment Fund Investment Board (EFIB) believe in the endowment mission. The revenue made from endowment lands and endowment investments makes a difference.”

There is currently $2.9 billion in the endowment fund which supports current and future endowment beneficiaries. Reserves are held to cover about seven years of distributions for the nine beneficiaries, protecting future distributions when problems arise in the economy.

The EFIB manages the endowment fund and IDL manages nearly 2.5 million acres of endowment land held in trust for the financial support of endowment beneficiaries. The Land Board oversees both the EFIB and IDL.

“It is important to have both the endowment fund and endowment land working together to generate returns for the beneficiaries,” explained IDL Director Dustin Miller. “Coupled together, the financial assets and timberland provide reliable and consistent sources of funding for beneficiaries like our public schools.”

“Because over half of the beneficiary distributions come directly from land revenue, mainly timber harvests, the endowment fund continues to grow and support future generations of beneficiaries,” added Miller.

Today’s holiday event also featured Christmas songs from the elite singing group, the Capital Singers from Capital High School. Their performance has become a tradition in the rotunda.

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