When Minnesota became a state in 1858, the federal government granted sections 16 and 36 of every township, or their equivalent, to the State for the use of schools. The Minnesota Constitution established the Permanent School Fund (PSF) to ensure a long-term source of funds for public education in the state. The PSF consists of the accumulated revenues generated from the land.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for managing the school trust land, which currently totals about 2.5 million acres, plus an additional 1 million acres of severed mineral rights.
The Minnesota Legislature established the 12 member Legislative Permanent School Fund Commission (Minnesota Statutes, Section 127A.30) to advise the Department of Natural Resources and the school trust lands director on the management of permanent school fund land, which is held in trust for the school districts of the state and to review legislation affecting permanent school fund land.
The commission is required to review statutes and recommend any changes necessary for provident utilization of school trust lands, and to report annually to the legislature with recommendations for management of school trust fund lands to secure long-term economic return for the permanent school fund.
For more information regarding the Legislative Permanent School Fund Commission, LPSFC meetings, and email notifications please visit their webpage at:
For a list of current and past School Trust Lands Reports please visit the following DNR webpage:
Minnesota Constitution Article XI, Section 8
PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND; SOURCE; INVESTMENT; BOARD OF INVESTMENT. The permanent school fund of the state consists of (a) the proceeds of lands granted by the United States for the use of schools within each township, (b) the proceeds derived from swamp lands granted to the state, (c) all cash and investments credited to the permanent school fund and to the swamp land fund, and (d) all cash and investments credited to the internal improvement land fund and the lands therein. No portion of these lands shall be sold otherwise than at public sale, and in the manner provided by law. All funds arising from the sale or other disposition of the lands, or income accruing in any way before the sale or disposition thereof, shall be credited to the permanent school fund. Within limitations prescribed by law, the fund shall be invested to secure the maximum return consistent with the maintenance of the perpetuity of the fund. The principal of the permanent school fund shall be perpetual and inviolate forever. This does not prevent the sale of investments at less than the cost to the fund; however, all losses not offset by gains shall be repaid to the fund from the interest and dividends earned thereafter. The net interest and dividends arising from the fund shall be distributed to the different school districts of the state in a manner prescribed by law.
A board of investment consisting of the governor, the state auditor, the secretary of state, and the attorney general is constituted for the purpose of administering and directing the investment of all state funds. The board shall not permit state funds to be used for the underwriting or direct purchase of municipal securities from the issuer or the issuer's agent.
Minnesota Constitution Article XI, Section 11
TIMBER LANDS SET APART AS STATE FORESTS; DISPOSITION OF REVENUE. School and other public lands of the state better adapted for the production of timber than for agriculture may be set apart as state school forests, or other state forests as the legislature may provide. The legislature may also provide for their management on forestry principles. The net revenue therefrom shall be used for the purposes for which the lands were granted to the state.
Statutes Relevant to School Trust Lands