A Major Source of Revenue for Schools

Endowment Earnings Reserve Distributions to Public Schools FY 2013  (pdf, 174kb)
Distribution statement from the Idaho Endowment Trust for K-12 Public Schools by school and/or district for a total of $47,508,600 in FY 2013. Distributions are made from the earnings reserve fund on revenues earned on Idaho endowment lands, the bulk of which come from state forest timber sales.
More information about the endowment can be found at http://www.idl.idaho.gov/LandBoard/index_lb.html#bene.

When Idaho was admitted to the Union as the 43rd state in 1890, it was granted approximately 3,672,000 acres of land for the support of state institutions. The land was granted under the condition that it be managed in perpetuity as a trust for the beneficiary institutions. This mandate was codified in Article IX Section 8 of the Idaho Constitution, which states that the lands are to be managed, "...in such manner as will secure the maximum long term financial return to the institution to which granted." Chief among the beneficiaries are the public schools, which received two sections of every township in the state (1/18 of the total land base). Other institutions include the University of Idaho , the Agricultural College , the Normal Schools, Penitentiary, Charitable Institutions, State Hospital South, School of Science and Public Buildings (now Capitol).

Management activities on state endowment trust land are not intended to benefit the general public, but are directed solely to the good of the beneficiaries of the original land grants. Money generated from the management of these lands is deposited into the earnings reserve fund from which the costs of management and payments to the beneficiaries are made. Revenue from mineral royalties is deposited into the permanent endowment fund. Both the earnings reserve and permanent fund are invested by the Endowment Fund Investment Board (visit the Endowment Fund Investment Board web page at www.efib.idaho.gov). The investment return is distributed to the beneficiaries. Land sale revenue is deposited into the land bank and is available to purchase other land. If not expended for that purpose within five years, the land sale revenue is deposited into the permanent fund.

Management of endowment trust lands is entrusted to the State Board of Land Commissioners. The Idaho Department of Lands is the administrative arm of the Board and carries out the executive directives of the Board to meet the constitutional trust mandate.

The state of Idaho owns almost 2.5 million acres of land, held in trust for the benefit of public schools and other endowment beneficiaries. The Idaho Department of Lands manages the endowment lands to accomplish the constitutional mandate of securing maximum long term financial return to the institutions to which the land is granted. To learn about the history of endowment lands, the State board of Land Commissioners and the Idaho Department of Lands, refer to the University of Idaho , College of Natural Resources publication, Idaho's Endowment Lands: A Matter of Sacred Trust. Jay O'Laughlin, Stanley F. Hamilton, and Philip S. Cook (August 2011). Full report in pdf format. (1.8Mb)

National Forest Funds Returned to Idaho
In Millions of Dollars

By law, 25% of federal timber sale revenues are returned to local counties to cupport Idaho's public schools and roads.

Idaho's Endowment Fund
In Millions of Dollars

State timber sales are the major contributor to Idaho's public school edowment fund.

National Forests

On federal lands, 25 percent of the value of each timber sale is returned to the counties in which the forest is located. By law, this money, which totaled over $14 million in 1997, must be used for schools and county roads. This eases everyone's tax burden.


Idaho Forest Products Commission
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