K-12 public schools receiving record amount in Land Endowment distributions

Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced that in fiscal year 2020, the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund (PLETF) will distribute a record amount of $368 million to its beneficiaries, including public schools.

K-12 schools will receive more than $342 million of the $368 million PLETF distribution, resulting in approximately $21 million more than this year, or a 6.53 percent increase over fiscal year 2019.

“Through our strategic investment strategy, we have succeeded in growing the Endowment and this will bring millions more to Arizona schools,” Yee said in a statement. “As a result, I’m happy to report that schools across the state will receive higher payments, nearly $1.75 million more per month, for [fiscal year] 2020.”

Having $5.7 billion in market value, the PLETF provides funding to 13 separate beneficiaries. It is the Treasurer’s responsibility to manage and distribute these funds.  

Approved by the State Board of Investment at its Jan. 29 meeting, public schools will be receiving approximately 93 percent of the PLETF distributions.

When ratified as a state, Arizona received millions of acres of trust land from Congress as an endowment. When a parcel of the land is sold, the state treasurer invests the proceeds into the PLETF.

According to the Treasurer’s office, the distribution amount is calculated yearly at 6.9 percent of the PLETF’s 5-year average market value.

“One of my most important responsibilities as Treasurer is to grow the Endowment for all beneficiaries. Especially funds directed to current and future generations of our Arizona school children,” Yee said.

The monthly distribution payments will begin in July.

Emily Richardson

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