April 11, 2016 Wisconsin Dells – WEMTA conference pictured (L to R): AG Brad Schimel, Sec. of State Doug La Follette present $37.7 million in Common School Fund earnings to Asst. State Superintendent Kurt Kiefer. Submitted photo
April 11, 2016 Wisconsin Dells – WEMTA conference pictured (L to R): AG Brad Schimel, Sec. of State Doug La Follette present $37.7 million in Common School Fund earnings to Asst. State Superintendent Kurt Kiefer. Submitted photo

Submitted by Vicki Halverson, on behalf of Jonathan Barry, Ex. Sec., BCPL

WISCONSIN DELLS, WI – Elmwood Schools to receive $$16,685 for libraries. Wisconsin’s K-12 public school libraries will receive $37.7 million, thanks to record earnings from Common School Fund investments, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) announced today.

Board Chair Brad D. Schimel, Attorney General, and Commissioner Doug La Follette, Secretary of State, presented Kurt Kiefer, Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction, with a ceremonial check at the Wisconsin Educational & Media Technology Association’s (WEMTA) annual conference at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Commissioner Matt Adamczyk, State Treasurer, was unable to attend.

The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands was established in 1848 by Article X of the Wisconsin Constitution to manage assets of the Common School Fund. This permanent endowment was created in the Constitution to benefit public education.

The BCPL generates earnings for the Common School Fund by investing in state and municipal bonds and State Trust Funds that finance community projects across the state. Trust Fund earnings are distributed annually to public schools and are the sole source of state funding for public school libraries. For many school districts, this is the only money available for library materials including books, newspapers and periodicals, web-based resources, and computer hardware and software. The funds distributed today are enough to put nearly two books in the hand of every child in Wisconsin.

Board Chair Schimel said, "BCPL investments provide support for community projects throughout Wisconsin including economic development, public infrastructure, school building and improvements, and the purchase of capital equipment and vehicles. Many of these expenditures provide law enforcement personnel and first responders with the equipment needed to keep their communities safe. Earnings from these investments continue to benefit public schools for many generations after the founding fathers of Wisconsin created this program. The BCPL is pleased to distribute record Common School Trust Fund earnings in 2016.”

This 2016 library aid distribution is the largest in the long history of the BCPL. In an era of historically low interest rates, BCPL commissioners are proud to have maintained strong earnings distributions.

For more information on the Board, visit: http://bcpl.wisconsin.gov.