Since 1785 the United States has gifted a percentage of the undedicated federal lands to the states to help fund education.
In Utah we have about 3.5 Million acres of land that is managed by the School and Institutional Trust lands Administration or SITLA.
Since the creation of SITLA in 1994, the permanent trust for public education has grown from $50 M to $1.6 B and paid out $37.8 million dollars to the beneficiaries in the 2013 fiscal year.
SITLA manages the land for maximum benefit to its beneficiaries by leasing land for; natural resource extraction, renewable energy projects, and commercial development. Some lands are traded and sold from the portfolio depending on the benefit those deals will provide. The end goal is to make money for children in public education.