Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Luna wants more for schools now from endowment, endowment board disagrees

After state endowment manager Larry Johnson concluded, "There is no compelling fiduciary reason for the Land Board to increase the distribution rate" to endowment beneficiaries - the largest of which is the state's public schools - state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna said he had more questions. Luna, who wants more for schools in the current budget crunch, noted that in the past 10 years, as Idaho's number of public school students has grown, the endowment distribution to public schools on a per-student basis has dropped 38 percent, from $179 per child to $110, "and that doesn't take into account inflation," Luna said. "So to me that still begs the question whether the current beneficiary is being treated equal to the future beneficiary."

Johnson responded, "Certainly it's disappointing to see those kinds of reductions in distributions you have described. ... Over time, the current beneficiary must bear the risk of the investment return." He added, "In actuality, distributions have grown faster than the current fund."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: