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Resolution on School Trust Lands and Funds

Whereas, Our nation's founding fathers recognized the importance of supporting public education, so they established school trust lands in every state, as well as corresponding permanent school funds to be provided by either Congress or the states themselves; and

Whereas, Federal laws regulated territorial expansion and entrance into statehood, allowing all states to enter the union on equal footing; recognizing that some states would have vast acreages of untaxable federal lands, federal laws granted trust lands and funds to states to support public schools and to compensate for untaxed federal lands; and

Whereas, Additional grants were provided to create a revenue stream for educating children with special needs, including deaf and blind children and at-risk populations; and

Whereas, States have lost a portion-or all-of the granted lands and resulting perpetual revenue stream due to lack of awareness on the part of parents and community members, and due to lack of diligence on the part of education leaders and policy makers regarding these trust lands and funds; and

Whereas, Many school trusts have lands to which they are still entitled from the federal government since statehood; and

Whereas, Changes in the management of lands and funds initiated and promoted by schools and parents have either brought about increased annual revenue streams for public schools or protected the given revenue stream; therefore be it

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent organizations shall provide information to parents, educators, policy makers, and the public about school and institutional trust lands and permanent school funds, including the compensation or grant entitlement that states have been denied since their entrance into statehood; and be it further

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent organizations shall advocate for sound financial management of the school trusts to provide the maximum benefit to the children in public education who are the beneficiaries of those trusts, and shall work to ensure that these funds do not supplant existing education funding; and be it further

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent organizations urge state and federal lawmakers to support public schools by ensuring that the historic trusts are allowed to fulfill the purpose for which they were originally created.

Resources:

Children’s Land Alliance Supporting Schools:
A non-profit corporation to educate and advocate on the issue of school trust lands.