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Published September 24, 2012, 09:01 AM

North Dakota school trust fund reaches $2B

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A trust fund that benefits North Dakota's schools has reached the $2 billion mark.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A trust fund that benefits North Dakota's schools has reached the $2 billion mark.

State Department of Trust Lands commissioner Lance Gaebe (GAY'-bee) says the Common Schools Trust Fund had $1 billion in assets only three years ago.

The fund gets income from the sale of rights to explore for oil on state lands, and it gets royalty payments from oil production. Gaebe says the oil income is the biggest reason for the fund's growth.

The school trust fund also gets money from leasing out about 700,000 acres of state-owned pasture land.

Part of the fund's assets are paid out to North Dakota schools. During the current two-year budget, schools are getting about $93 million. Gaebe says that will be going up to $137 million in the next two years.

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