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July 25, 2012                                                                                               12-16

For immediate release

More information:  Julie Curtis - 503-986-5298; julie.curtis@state.or.us 

Oregon schools receive nearly $24 million from state’s Common School Fund

Semi-annual payments provide local funds for districts

Salem – Oregon’s K-12 public school districts received the second of two 2012 Common School Fund payments of $23,993,167 on July 17. 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” – or public – schools. 

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. DSL Director Louise Solliday said the board’s long-range goal is to significantly increase revenue into the Common School Fund through strategic land-management actions, including investments in industrial, commercial and residential lands. 

“The Land Board recently approved an updated Real Estate Asset Management Plan that lays out strategies to ensure a consistent and growing stream of revenue for schools,” said Solliday. The plan also supports balancing revenue generation with resource stewardship, she said.​

The 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. 

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.