Bringing more trust land money and greater stability to Utah schools

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Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s challenge for Utah to lead the nation as America’s top-performing education system is off to an important start.

Joined today by PTA and School and Institutional Trust Lands (SITLA) representatives at the Utah Valley Convention Center, Gov. Herbert signed a bill that would increase trust land funds by approximately 50 percent, potentially adding tens of millions of dollars per year to Utah’s education system.

Gov. Herbert said the bill, which must be approved by voters in November, will help Utah’s quest to provide a first-rate education for our children that is second to none by bringing more stability to the distribution of trust land funds.

“This legislation helps SITLA accomplish its critical mission to fund Utah schools,” the governor said.

Sponsored by Sen. Ann Millner and Rep. Mel Brown, Senate Bill 109 would amend the Utah Constitution to make the distribution of trust land funds to Utah schools less subject to economic fluctuations and better able to keep pace with growth and inflation. The amendment would also give educators and parents greater certainty in the budgeting process and help them apply the funds where they are needed most.

Trust lands are parcels of land that Congress granted to Utah at the time of statehood to help generate revenue to support public schools, universities and other designated state institutions.

Since 1994, SITLA has generated more than $1.4 billion for schools in the Beehive State, increasing public education funding without raising taxes.  

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