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Permanent State School Fund Has Record Growth In Tough Market

Office of Utah State Treasurer
Market value of State School and Institutional Trust Funds 2005-2014

State Treasurer David Damschen reports record earnings from Utah’s Permanent State School Fund despite lackluster financial market performance over the past year. 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.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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