County schools received land fund distributions

Schools throughout Canadian County benefitted from a record distribution from the Commissioners of the Land Office.

Yukon, Mustang, El Reno, Piedmont, Okarche, Calumet and Union City all received distributions from the office for fiscal year 2017.

The department receives funds from leases of land that has been set aside from each township in the state to support education.

In 2017, the commissioners distributed a record $103.4 million, an increase of more than $1.2 million over last year’s distribution.

The seven independent school districts in Canadian County received a combined $4,019,679, according to figures released by the commissioners.

Yukon received $1,271,731.19 for this year. That is up from last year’s total of $1,240,570.99.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said the money is an annual distribution to the district, and is incorporated into the district’s budget. He said it eventually helps pay salaries for the teachers, as well as other obligations.

Meanwhile, Mustang received $1,641,297.82 compared to $1,576,669.33 last year.

Piedmont’s distribution was $559,836.30 for 2017, while last year’s total was $524,172.28.

Okarche received $54,745.01, which is up from $51,579.99.

El Reno received checks totaling $405,492.61. Last year’s checks totaled $387,907.70.

Calumet is the only district in the county where the check actually declined. Calumet received $40,983.70. That is down from $42,697.56.

Union City received $45,499.28. Last year, the district received $45,140.30.

“I am pleased that the land office was able to increase distributions to public education in a year when state revenues were down,” CLO Secretary Harry Birdwell said. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the agency staff, as well as the forward thinking of the commissioners, we have been able to diversify our portfolio so that even in a year when other economic factors are working against us, the CLO was able to increase distributions and set another record for K-12 distributions.”

Gov. Mary Fallin, who serves as the chairman of the CLO board, was pleased with the distribution of funds.

“Funds for education come from a wide variety of sources in Oklahoma, and the CLO has consistently helped to increase resources for our students and teachers. The $137.4 million distributed by the CLO this year will help to improve the quality of our public schools and universities, and aid in our goal to boost educational attainment in the state. I appreciate Secretary Birdwell and the CLO staff for their significant efforts to maximize revenues for public education in Oklahoma,” Fallin said.

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