The Relationship Between Public Education and the State Land Department
Public education is by far the largest beneficiary of Trust land managed by the Arizona State Land Department. Congress granted about 8.4 million acres to common schools by granting two sections of each township to common schools when Arizona became a territory and another two sections when Arizona became a state. Today, about 8 million acres remains in the Trust for common schools. The Land Department is the entity charged with the fiduciary responsibility to manage and safeguard the land trust in accordance with the Trust’s mission.
State Trust Land Revenues and the Classroom Site Fund
Earning money for Arizona’s Trust beneficiaries is the primary mission of the Trust’s management.
Revenues earned from Trust land are classified as either permanent or expendable. Revenues derived from the sale of State Trust land, the sale of natural products (such as sand, gravel, water and fuel wood), and royalties from mineral materials are deposited in the Permanent Funds and invested in stocks, bonds, and interest-bearing securities by the State Treasurer. Expendable revenue is comprised of rent from leases and interest payments on sales financed through the Land Department. Expendable revenue is transferred directly to the beneficiaries for their operation. For FY 2014, the Land Department generated over $66 million in expendable revenues and deposited $103 million into the Permanent Funds.