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Utah schools can expect more than $30 million in School Land Trust Program money this summer — a record distribution, said Margaret Bird, director of the School Children's Trust.

Each year, all Utah public schools get part of the dividends and interest earned on the permanent State School Fund — a more than $1.3 billion pot of money generated from trust lands throughout the state. Individual schools typically get anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000 each, depending mostly on enrollment.

School community councils — made up of elected parents, school employees and the principal — decide how to spend the money at each school. The councils decide on their schools' most pressing academic needs and develop plans to improve student performance.

Bird said she won't know until July exactly how much schools will get this year, but she can already say it will be more than $30 million total. In fiscal year 2012, Utah schools received $29 million, up from less than $5 million in fiscal year 2001.

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