Improving K-12 Education

Permanent Fund Working Group

Donnell-Kay staffer Matt Samelson recently served on a working group convened by Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young to consider issues regarding state school trust lands and the permanent school fund as identified by the legislature in House Bill 22-1146.  The state owns roughly 3 million surface acres and 4 million mineral acres, known as school trust lands. Some revenues earned from those lands help support the Building Excellent School Today (BEST) program to build and renovate public schools in Colorado while the remainder fund the State Land Board budget and are deposited into the permanent school fund, which is a constitutionally created fund to support public education in Colorado.

The working group released a report with several recommendations, including one that the State should pursue investment opportunities with the $1.2 billion permanent fund that benefit Colorado youth and families in addition to financial returns.  Many Colorado foundations, including Donnell-Kay, utilize such a strategy to generate a specific social benefit, such as public education, with specific investment of their fund’s corpus and investment capital.

Equally important, the working group rejected a proposal that would have harmed the BEST program by reducing its funding. Colorado’s public schools have a deferred facility maintenance backlog greater than $15 billion. For many Colorado school districts and schools, the BEST program represents the best opportunity to tackle their facility needs including renovations, new roofs, new boilers, and security.

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Written By: Matt Samelson

The foundation’s resident lawyer, Matt uses his background in research, journalism and law to be a crucial behind-the-scenes player in...

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