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Endowment funds to return record payouts for schools and other state entities

The eight endowment funds for the public school system and other beneficiaries will see a record payout of $78.2 million after July 2018, a state endowment official said.

The endowment funds are overseen by  the state Endowment Fund Investment Board, which is governed by the State Board of Land Commissioners, known as the Land Board.

The payment is a 6.4 percent increase over this year’s distribution, due to an overall 12.9 percent return on the fund’s investments. Within the fund, equities, which make up two-thirds of the portfolio, saw a return of 19 percent, said Larry Johnson, the EFIB manager of investments.

“That was the big driver,” Johnson said about the equity investments. “We expect an average 6 percent increase per year (for the overall investments).”

Other than investment income, endowment fund income is largely based on timber sales, which were average for the year, Johnson said.

The Idaho Department of Lands, which reports to the Land Board, manages 2.4 million acres of endowment lands in Idaho to generate income for the endowment funds.  Earnings from the lands and invested funds support Idaho’s public school system and other state institutions, IDL spokeswoman Sharla Arledge said.

The largest share is distributed to Idaho’s public schools, which will receive $50.3 million in fiscal 2019, which starts in July 2018, a 7 percent increase over this year, Johnson said.

The balance will go to the University of Idaho, state hospitals for the mentally ill, Lewis-Clark State College, state veterans homes, Idaho State University, Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind, and the state  juvenile corrections system and prison system.


About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.