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The Board of Educational Lands and Funds was established by the Nebraska Constitution to serve as trustee of the lands contributed to the state in 1867 by the federal government. As trustee of these lands, the Board is bound by fiduciary duty to its beneficiaries – the K-12 public schools. In exercising this fiduciary duty the Board must use the judgment and care that persons of skill, prudence, and intelligence would exercise in the management of their own affairs.
The Board and its staff are required by law—and firmly committed—to the mission of maximizing income, exercising careful stewardship of the land, and treating our lessees fairly. In pursuit of these goals, every effort is made to conduct the Board's business consistent with a profit motive patterned after the most efficient enterprises in the private sector.
The Board serves in the dual capacity of land owner and land manager of approximately 1.259 million surface acres and 1.65 million subsurface acres. Rents are collected on approximately 3,000 agricultural leases and 410 mineral leases. In its capacity as landowner, the Board makes expenditures for conservation, improvement and management of the land placed in its care. The Board also sells and trades land to the extent that such transactions are consistent with the Board's fiduciary duty. The Board pays county real estate taxes on its land in support of K-12 schools and other local associations. $10.320 million in real estate taxes was paid by the Board during 2015.
The net income from the Trust is deposited in the Temporary School Fund and then is annually distributed out of that fund to the K-12 public schools statewide on a per pupil basis. Proceeds from land sales and mineral royalties are deposited in the Permanent School Fund. The Permanent Fund is managed by the Nebraska Investment Council. The net income from the Permanent Fund is also deposited in the Temporary Fund and distributed to the public schools each year. Over the last 15 years, the total combined amount distributed to the K-12 public schools was $573.76 million.
The Nebraska Board of Educational Lands and Funds is a member