Arizona schools are starting up this month.
As children return to the classroom, Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced that K-12 education in the state will receive $342 million from the Permanent Land Endowment Trust (PLETF).
The additional dollars will result in $21 million more in distributions for the K-12 education system than in fiscal year 2019.
“I’m proud that we are increasing our distributions by $21 million more than last year and schools will receive $342 million new dollars this year from my office,” Yee said in a statement.
According to the State Treasurer’s office, Arizona schools will see an increase of roughly $1.75 million more per month than what was given in FY2019.
“I understand the importance of investing for our children. I am the daughter of a retired public-school teacher who taught in Arizona schools for 38 years, so I know money matters in every classroom across our great state,” added Yee.
The creation of the PLETF goes back to statehood. When ratified as a state, Arizona received millions of acres of trust land from Congress as an endowment. When a parcel of land is sold, the state treasurer invests the proceeds into the PLETF.
According to the Treasurer’s office, the distribution amount is calculated annually at 6.9 percent of the PLETF’s 5-year average market value.
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.
Under Yee, the PLETF has distributed $189 million to K-12 education and in July 2019 increased monthly distributions to K-12 education from $26.8 million per month to $28.5 million per month, according to the office.
“Our outstanding investment team at the Arizona Treasury has stayed committed to our core principles of ‘safety, before liquidity, before yield’ since we started investing in stocks for the program 20 years ago. As you can see, these safe and steady investments have certainly paid off,” Yee said in a statement. “This is a huge win for education in Arizona.”