Proposition 118 would stabilize payouts from trust land

By Mary Jo Pitzl

The Arizona Republic


Doug Ducey

When it comes to funding education, the question with Proposition 118 is whether to embrace a sure thing or stick with a gamble.

The ballot measure proposes a new formula for sending money from Arizona’s trust-land endowment to 13 beneficiaries, most of which are public schools. The formula would guarantee an annual payment based on 2.5 percent of a five-year average of the endowment’s value.

The current formula can’t guarantee a steady annual payment. A study commissioned by state Treasurer Doug Ducey’s office showed it has fluctuated in recent years. Two years ago, the fund provided no money for the state’s K-12 system, despite the fact the fund was worth more than $3 billion. Last year, the distribution was nearly $18 million.

“This fixes it,” Ducey said. “We won’t have these years of zero distribution.”


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