Management of School LAND Trust
The School Children's Trust is a combination of land and financial assets, which is run for the benefit of Utah's public school system. The land assets are managed by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration ("SITLA"), and the financial assets (known as the permanent State School Fund in the Utah Constitution) are managed by the School and Institutional Trust Fund Office ("SITFO").
Who are the beneficiaries of the Trust? "The state of Utah became the trustee for the school trust lands, and the schools of Utah the beneficiaries. The state became fiduciary, obligated by principles of trust law to administer the trust for the exclusive benefit of the trust beneficiaries, including a duty of undivided loyalty to the trust. In years to come, case law would support the fiduciary responsibility of the state as trustee.” - Cited from Executive Summary of Utah’s Trust Land Story; Margaret Bird, February 8, 2011
SITLA: School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) is responsible for managing approximately 3.3 million surface acres and 4.4 million mineral acres to generate revenue which is then deposited in the permanent State School Fund. SITLA was created by statute in 1994 and has generated nearly $1.5 billion in revenue since that time. (see map on back cover)
SITFO: The School and Institutional Trust Funds Office (SITFO) is a newly created agency within the executive branch of state government. SITFO was created with responsibilities singular to managing and investing the funds derived from the lands granted in trust to the state. The permanent State School Fund is made up from revenues received from School Trust Lands and investments. A board of volunteer investment experts, chaired by the State Treasurer, hire the director and provide policy direction to the office.
The School Children's Trust Section of the USBE: This section of the Utah State Board of Education office oversees the School LAND Trust Program, which provides funding to school community councils to enact their School LAND Trust plans. The Section also watches over the actions of SITLA and SITFO, ensuring the School Children's Trust is managed in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
(TAC) Trust Action Committee: TAC is a committee that is selected and serves as advisory for the Utah State Board of Education. This committee studies issues impacting the Trust and makes recommendations to the State Board. Susan Edwards, Canyons Public Engagement Coordinator, is currently serving a 4-year appointment to TAC.
(UASCC) Utah Association of School Community Councils is a statewide association of people interested in the training and operations of SCCs. They hold an annual training, usually held in January, that takes a deeper dive into SCC topics and provides an opportunity for SCC members to network. Canyons Board of Education Vice President, Nancy Tingey, and Susan Edwards, Canyons Public Engagement Coordinator, currently serve on the UASCC steering committee.