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Schools receive $26.5 million from state fund

Oregon’s K-12 public school districts received the first of two 2013 Common School Fund payments of $26.5 million on Jan. 24, about a 10 percent increase over the January 2012 distribution.

The State Land Board − composed of the governor, secretary of state and state treasurer − oversees the fund, which was established at statehood to provide funding from state lands for Oregon’s “common” (public) schools.

“The Common School Fund provides vital resources to support education in our state,” said Rob Saxton, deputy superintendent of public instruction. “These resources are now more important than ever as our schools and districts work to reach ambitious education goals and better prepare our students for future success.”

The Department of State Lands (DSL) transmits funds each December and June to the Department of Education for distribution to the state’s 197 school districts.

The Land Board and DSL oversee land management programs that provide revenue for the school fund. The agency’s 2012 Real Estate Asset Management Plan provides strategic direction for increasing revenues from the approximately 7,000 acres of industrial/commercial/residential land, 630,000 acres of rangelands, 130,000 acres of forestland, and 1.2 million acres of waterways.

The Oregon Constitution requires the Land Board to manage lands under its care to obtain the greatest benefit for Oregonians, consistent with conservation values and prudent land management techniques. The asset management plan includes principles for identifying and managing unique natural and cultural resources, said Mary Abrams, DSL director.

State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, one of three members of the Land Board, and the Oregon Investment Council invest the fund. By law, the state dedicates the funds for “support and maintenance of common schools in each school district.” The population of children ages 4-20 determines each county’s share of the earnings.

Click here to see the January 2013 distribution per school district.

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