K-12 in line for a slight increase in endowment money

Public schools will get a slight bump in funding from state endowment lands in 2019-20.

With little discussion, the state Land Board voted Tuesday to distribute nearly $51.3 million to public schools — an increase of close to $1 million.

As is customary, public schools received the largest share of money from the endowment. K-12’s cut accounts for close to two-thirds of the state’s $80.9 million payments.

The money comes, in part, from proceeds from timber sales from state-owned lands. And timber sales are trending upward; the state had $155 million in presold sales on the books on June 30, a record.

Those robust sales — and strong returns on state investments — provided the Land Board with a little bit more money to distribute to K-12 and other endowment beneficiaries.

All told, the $80.9 million represents a $2.7 million increase in endowment payments — which goes to a variety of entities, including the University of Idaho and the state’s colleges of education.

The colleges of education received one of the biggest increases Tuesday, at least on a percentage basis. They will receive $4.9 million, a $500,000 boost.

While K-12’s endowment proceeds are relatively modest — in the context of a $1.8 billion state budget for schools — the proceeds are increasing.

Year K-12 payment
2016-17 $36.7 million
2017-18 $47 million
2018-19 $50.3 million
2019-20 $51.3 million


The Land Board comprises of five statewide elected officials: Gov. Butch Otter, state superintendent Sherri Ybarra, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney and Controller Brandon Woolf.

The five Republicans approved the 2019-20 distributions on a unanimous vote.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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