This year, $29 million dollars will be spread out amongst Utah schools this year from the School LAND Trust Program.
The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration manages 3.4 million acres in Utah set aside to help public institutions. The dividends from the use of these lands are distributed through the School LAND Trust Program. Tim Donaldson is a School Children’s Trust Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education. He explained the unique local committee that decides how the funds are spent.
"A two person majority of elected parents and then the principal serves on it and there elected teachers and staff from the school as well. And they review data and develop a school improvement plan on the schools greatest academic needs," he says.
Margaret Bird is the Director of the School Children’s Trust. She says the money is used for a variety of academic improvements.
"Some schools may be struggling because they don’t have any money for their science equipment. And many schools have tutors to help the kids that are struggling. And other schools have fabulous programs for the bright kids that maybe need to be a little more challenged," she says.
The money is distributed primarily on a per-pupil basis and can only be used to enhance the curriculum.