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Schools Benefit From Common School Fund

Oregon’s K-12 public schools will receive a record $74.2 million from the Common School Fund in 2024, state officials announced. Every one of Oregon’s 197 public school districts receives money from the Common School Fund every year. How much each district receives depends on the number of students served. The average 2024 distribution is approximately $376,000. Astoria School District will receive about $230,000. Bend La-Pine Schools will receive $2.3 million. Klamath Falls City Schools will receive nearly $344,000. See how much every Oregon school district will receive from the Common School Fund in 2024.

Portland Public Schools, serving the most students in the state, will receive $6.4 million this year.

“The Common School Fund consistently contributes critical funding for Oregon classrooms," said Michael Hisler, teacher at Roosevelt High School in North Portland. “Every district gets those dollars, which can be used to support specific needs of my students as well as students across the state." The Common School Fund has supported Oregon schools since statehood, when the federal government granted our new state nearly 3.4 million acres "for the use of schools." The State Land Board was established to oversee these school lands, which generate revenue for the Fund.

Now valued at $2.3 billion, the Common School Fund is invested by the State Treasurer and the Oregon Investment Council. The Fund earned an average 5.4 percent rate of return over the three-year period ending in December 2023. “We’re incredibly pleased with the Common School Fund’s performance in recent years under Treasury’s management. These sustained returns will allow us to send a record-setting amount to Oregon public schools," said State Treasurer Tobias Read. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact this will have on students across the state, from increased resources in the classroom to facility improvements."

Annually, 3.5 percent of the Fund is distributed to schools. The 2024 distribution of $74.2 million, the highest-ever distribution, is $2 million more than the 2023 distribution of $72.2 million and $10 million more than the 2022 distribution of $64.2 million. Today, approximately 681,000 acres of school lands in all 36 Oregon counties are managed by the Department of State Lands on behalf of the State Land Board. Ranchers and farmers, local governments, Tribes, businesses, and more work with DSL to lease and buy lands, plan for future community needs, and keep lands healthy.

“Since 1859, Oregon students have counted on school lands and the Common School Fund as a reliable revenue source," said DSL Director Vicki L. Walker. “DSL’s hardworking land management team is incredibly innovative and effective in protecting that legacy."

DSL is currently seeking public input on the plan that will guide management of school lands for the next 10 years. The comment period is open through April 3, 2024.

About the State Land Board and the Department of State Lands: The State Land Board consists of Governor Tina Kotek, Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade and State Treasurer Tobias Read. Established by the Oregon Constitution in 1859, the Land Board oversees the state’s Common School Fund. The Department of State Lands is the Land Board’s administrative agency, managing the lands that help fund Oregon’s public schools and protecting waterways and wetlands for their many benefits.

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Alex Hayes
Alex Hayes
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