Damschen says in the past fiscal year combined funds from the State School and Institutional Trust and the Fund’s interest and dividends increased 7.7 % to $49.3 million.
“The size of the fund can still grow even if we have a rough year in the financial markets and investments are only yielding growth at a flat rate or what have you," says Damschen, "It’s sort of the environment that we’ve been in.”
Damschen says every dollar earned by the fund is money for education spending not paid by the Utah taxpayer. He says this is a forever fund with a permanent time horizon.
“And so we look to it to provide the same, or roughly the same degree of benefit, to the school children of today that it provides to the school children of 200 years from now.”
A statement from the treasurer’s office says in 2015 schools received $45.8-million for the Learning and Nurturing Development, or “LAND” Trust program. That fund has grown from a total of $18 million in 1983 to more than $2-billion in 2015.