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Utah schools have received a record $39.2 million from School LAND Trust funds for the coming school year.

"School community councils will be receiving about 5 percent more money this year," said Tim Donaldson, School Children's Trust director for the Utah State Board of Education, in a news release.

"This has become a substantial funding source for our schools, and allows parents a way to get involved and have a voice in helping improve the education of our students."

Each year, all Utah public schools get part of the dividends and interest earned on the Permanent State School Fund — a $1.9 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, which consist of parents and educators, decide how to spend each school's share of the money. Last year, schools used the money to hire additional teachers and aides, to buy computers and other technology, and to support language, special needs, music and other programs.

Distributions from the Permanent School Fund have grown from $8.3 million in fiscal year 2004 to $39.2 million this year.

— Lisa Schencker