Newly Redesigned Volunteer Public Education Trust Fund Is Perfect Opportunity To Invest In Students

Thursday, December 26, 2019

For all those who clamor for more financial investment in K-12 public education, there is a perfect investment opportunity for you - the Volunteer Public Education Trust.

Imagine an endowment for K-12 public education that generates millions of dollars in investment earnings for use by local school systems to enhance their educational opportunities.  Imagine being able to make a personal contribution to an endowment dedicated to K-12 public education.  Such a contribution would represent your individual support and commitment to K-12 education, similar to the endowments at the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt, or University of Memphis.

An endowment like this can exist. And it could be transformational.

In 1985, the Tennessee Legislature created two education endowment funds: The State of Tennessee Volunteer Public Education Trust for supplemental funding of K-12 education and The Tennessee Chairs of Excellence Trust for higher education. 

Forty years later the two funds find themselves in dramatically different financial positions.  The Volunteer Public Education Trust has earned $85,944 through investments from contributions totaling $123,699.  In contrast, there have been contributions totaling $104M to the Chairs of Excellence Trust and it has earned more than $444.1M through investments.  The Chairs of Excellence Trust has also been able to provide more than $212 million in funding to enhance higher education in Tennessee.

This staggering difference led Representative Esther Helton and I to redesign the Tennessee Volunteer Public Education Trust. The goal of the redesign was to make the trust fund more attractive to investors interested in endowing supplemental funding for Tennessee’s K-12 public education system.

While the Volunteer Public Education Trust has existed for almost 40 years, it has received very little attention.  Few people or businesses are even aware of it.

Over this time The State of Tennessee has appropriated $45.9M for the Chairs of Excellence Trust, but it has given zero dollars, yes, zero, to the Volunteer Public Education Trust. 

I think the State of Tennessee can do better. Not only by better prioritizing state investment in the Volunteer Public Education Trust, but it can improve public awareness of the fund.

The new law Representative Helton and I sponsored to redesign the fund is the first step.

Under the new structure the responsibility for the management of the Volunteer Public Education Trust is given to the Tennessee Treasurer’s office, which has an outstanding investment record with funds such as the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, the Tennessee Promise Endowment Trust, and other investment instruments.

Additionally, the measure seeks to attract more donors by creating subaccounts where money can be earmarked so donors can give to a specific school or project.  Earmarking funds for specific projects is one of the main reasons the Chairs of Excellence Fund has been highly successful.  And finally, the new law expands the pool of donors and creates an endowment where the interest can be used to assist with improvements or projects outside a school’s normal funding stream. 

These enhancements give donors more control over their contributions and improve the management of the fund. 

The Volunteer Public Education Trust is now ready for contributions from individuals, businesses and corporations that will transform the way we fund public education in Tennessee.

If you’re an individual looking to make a charitable contribution or you’re a business or corporation considering investing in Tennessee’s public education system, I suggest The Volunteer Public Education Trust.

Information is available online at https://treasury.tn.gov/Investments/Investment-Management/Volunteer-Public-Education-Trust or contact the Tennessee Treasurer’s Office at (615) 532-8091.

Senator Bo Watson

 


Cast A Wider County Nepotism Net

Biden's Hands-Off Policy At The Border

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification


Hamilton County Commissioner Geter is correct in her statement, raising the thought or issue of a county nepotism audit? The focus on our Hamilton County district attorney’s marriage has wasted ... (click for more)

While the morning TV news barrages us with endless videos of shots in arms and vials of vaccine rolling down assembly lines, the Biden administration is totally obsessed with their constantly ... (click for more)

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone ... (click for more)



Opinion

Cast A Wider County Nepotism Net

Hamilton County Commissioner Geter is correct in her statement, raising the thought or issue of a county nepotism audit? The focus on our Hamilton County district attorney’s marriage has wasted more ink than the Times Free Press could apparently afford. It seems that members of the county commission now may be opening a nepotism Pandora’s box. I anticipate that a nepotism examination ... (click for more)

Biden's Hands-Off Policy At The Border

While the morning TV news barrages us with endless videos of shots in arms and vials of vaccine rolling down assembly lines, the Biden administration is totally obsessed with their constantly changing masking/vaccine advisories. Absent on the ‘main stream’ media coverage is the humanitarian crisis at our Southern border which grows more disastrous by the day. Apparently, VP Harris ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Has 3 More COVID Deaths, 286 New Cases; Tennessee Has 52 More Deaths

The Hamilton County Health Department reported three more deaths from the coronavirus and 286 new positive cases on Friday. The case number is up from 245 on Thursday. The total cases in the county now stands at 59,841. The death total is at 597. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is 319 in Hamilton County - down from 344 on Thursday. Nine more are hospitalized with suspected ... (click for more)

Janet Hinds Trial Starts Monday With Jury From Nashville

A Nashville jury has been selected to hear the trial of the former Soddy Daisy postmaster who is charged in the traffic death of rookie Chattanooga Police officer Nicholas Galinger. The trial of Janet Hinds will be in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole. Police said Officer Galinger was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by Ms. Hinds as he was inspecting an overflowing manhole ... (click for more)

Sports

Lookouts Win Over Braves, 4-2

Matt Lloyd put the barrel on the ball and flung the pitch all the way into the centerfield wall as the three stationary baserunners began their mad dashes around the infield diamond. Lorenzo Cedrola was the first to score, and Wilson Garcia followed behind him. Third baseman Robbie Tenerowicz sprinted home and tried to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth. The throw ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC: Potential Is The Key Word For Bahena, Hurtado And Rodriguez

Ricardo Bahena could be seen on the wing at the end of Chattanooga FC’s Thursday practice, working on driving toward his defender before whipping crosses into the box. Next to the 19-year-old was coach Peter Fuller, who gave the teenager specialized instructions as clouds loomed overhead. “You have to do what I was doing today, which is spending time working with and coaching ... (click for more)