OKLAHOMA CITY – The Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO) today announced a special distribution of $7,157,724 was made to every common school district (K-12) in the state that receives money from the agency. This special, supplemental year-end distribution was made to ensure total distributions to K-12 beneficiaries were equivalent to funding levels for the previous fiscal year.
Several years ago, the CLO created the Multi-Year Education Stabilization Fund authorized by 64 O.S. Section 1069 to help hold beneficiaries harmless from the volatility of oil and gas lease-bonus revenues, the CLO’s most unpredictable funding source.
“Every income source of the Commissioners of the Land Office remained stable or above average in FY 2018, with the exception of oil and gas lease-bonus revenues,” said CLO Secretary Harry Birdwell. “Compared to last year, we are down approximately $10 million in lease-bonus earnings, making our distributable income to K-12 beneficiaries $7.1 million less than last fiscal year.”
Working with the Legislature, a procedure was established several years ago that allows the CLO to make supplemental distributions to K-12 schools.
The agency is allowed to hold back about $15 million in the Multi-Year Education Stabilization Fund so that school district distributions could be smoothed out over a five-year moving average.
“This year, although facing a more than $7 million decrease in distributable income, CLO distributions for FY 2018 because of the multi-year distribution fund will be equal to last year’s record distributions for K-12 schools,” Birdwell said.
Governor Mary Fallin, CLO chairman, said the supplemental distribution will be helpful to public school districts.
“I appreciate the hard work of Secretary Birdwell and the Commissioners of the Land Office staff for their successful efforts in maximizing distributable revenue to the common school districts in Oklahoma,” she said. “As a commissioner, I am pleased that the agency matched last year’s state record of $103,430,605 through this special distribution.”