OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin announced today that public schools, colleges and universities have received record earnings during the last four fiscal years from funds distributed by the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO).
More than $519.9 million has been distributed to the CLO’s education beneficiaries during the 2011 through 2014 fiscal years, according to the agency. That amount is 57 percent, or $188.7 million, more than the $331.2 million distributed during the next-highest four-year period in state history (2007-2010).
“This is great news for public education,” said Fallin. “This money provides much-needed additional funds for school districts, colleges and universities. The increase in CLO dollars is one more way to supplement the $150 million increase legislators appropriated for K-12 education in the last two years. I appreciate the hard work of the land office commissioners and CLO Secretary Harry Birdwell for helping to produce these high returns.”
The CLO distributes money from oil and gas exploration and land leases on the agency's controlled property as well as dividends from investments made by the trust fund.
Public schools received most of the money, or $381.9 million of the $519.9 million, distributed the past four fiscal years by the CLO. Higher education received $137.9 million.
The money for kindergarten-through-grade-12 schools is distributed to each of the state's 517 school districts based on school attendance numbers.
The value of the CLO’s permanent trust fund since 2011 has grown by nearly $700 million, from $1.606 billion to $2.304 billion.
It took 95 years for the CLO’s permanent trust fund to reach the $1 billion threshold. It took only 11 additional years for the permanent trust fund to pass the $2 billion mark.
The CLO is assigned the task of managing, leasing and selling properties set aside decades ago to be managed for the maximum financial benefit of Oklahoma's common and higher education schools.