Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) officials and state legislators are commending Gov. Mark Dayton today for selecting Aaron Vande Linde as the state’s first School Trust Lands Director on Tuesday, September 8.
Visit http://mn.gov/governor/newsroom/pressreleasedetail.jsp?id=102-171242 for official notification.
Vande Linde will now serve as the trustee of approximately 2.5 million acres of state School Trust Lands that generates revenue for schools.
MSBA has been a long-time advocate for the appointment of a School Trust Lands director.
“With the appointment of a School Trust Lands director, we have made history,” said Denise Dittrich, MSBA’s Associate Director of Government Relations who also worked on this issue as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2005 to 2012.
“All children are beneficiaries to a trust fund set up by the Founding Fathers upon statehood,” Dittrich said. “This is a historic day for the schoolchildren in Minnesota. Finally, they will have an authentic trustee to provide oversight and accountability to the management of their trust fund. Thanks to all the school boards who passed board resolutions, testified, attended meetings, made phone calls and sent emails.”
Kevin Donovan, MSBA President and Mahtomedi School Board member added: “This is a huge victory for all of Minnesota’s public school students. The students are beneficiaries of this trust fund. The state has finally appointed someone to look out for the long-term interest of our public school students and Minnesota’s trust land.”
Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell) was the chief author of state legislation in 2012 that authorized the creation of a separate School Trust Lands director that would be independent of the Department of Natural of Resources purview.
“I’m pleased to see that Gov. Dayton has taken the long-awaited step to appoint an independent director to advise the Legislature and the governor’s office on school trust management issues,” O’Driscoll said. “We’ve been waiting nearly three years for this appointment, but nevertheless we are pleased it has finally occurred. The appointment of the director is an important step in providing oversight over Minnesota’s School Trust Lands.”
“I’m excited Gov. Dayton has appointed Aaron Vande Linde to be the School Trust Lands Director,” said Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point), chair of the Legislative Permanent School Fund Commission. “Aaron has an amazing wealth of knowledge regarding not only Minnesota’s School Trust Lands, but school trust lands across the country. He will do a fantastic job helping maximize Minnesota’s School Trust Lands. I look forward to working with him.”
Visit http://dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/school_lands/index.html for background information on the School Trust Lands.