Luna questions K-12 endowment payouts

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna hasn’t made much headway trying to boost endowment payments for K-12, but he’s continuing to press the issue.

During Tuesday’s Idaho Land Board meeting, Luna suggested the state is focusing on the needs of future students at the expense of current students. The state is putting $31.3 million of endowment proceeds into K-12 — a figure that has been frozen for five years.

“Every year … we have 3,000 to 4,000 more students that we’re serving with that distribution,” said Luna, according to Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

In September, Luna urged the Land Board to beef up its annual payment to K-12 to $34 million. But Luna failed to get support from any fellow Republicans on the five-member board.

The debate over state endowment strategies is ongoing. As Russell reports, the Land Board should receive a report from state investment manager Larry Johnson in February.



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