Treasurer Kennedy Says LEQTF Earns Most Money in Fund's History

BATON ROUGE, La. – At a joint meeting of the Board of Regents (Regents) and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) today, State Treasurer John Kennedy announced that the Kevin P. Reilly, Sr. Louisiana Education Quality Trust Fund (LEQTF) earned nearly $108 million this past fiscal year – the most money ever in the history of the program.

“The LEQTF has been providing grants and funding for projects at all levels of education for nearly 30 years,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “The Treasury’s goals for investments in the fund are to preserve its capital, enhance its market value, and generate a steady flow of income for both Regents and BESE. All of the LEQTF’s investments are handled in house at the Treasury so I’m extremely proud of how well the trust fund performed this past year.”

The LEQTF began with an initial investment of $540 million in 1986, and the fund has grown to $1.207 billion today. The total return on investments in the LEQTF was 5.8 percent this past year.

“The LEQTF exceeded both its statutory benchmarks and its internal benchmarks during the fiscal year,” said John Broussard, Chief Investment Officer for the Louisiana Department of the Treasury.

Earnings on the LEQTF stem from investment income, capital gains and losses, and royalties, and since 1987, $1.483 billion has been distributed to promote education and research statewide. A portion of the fund’s earnings are distributed equally to Regents and BESE each year, with each group splitting $58 million this year.

“Both capital gains from securities and royalty income from offshore oil and gas exceeded our original estimates,” said Amy Mathews, Investment Officer with the Treasury.

The LEQTF began in 1986 when the state took the proceeds from a settlement with the federal government over oil and gas revenues and put it into a trust fund to improve the quality of education in Louisiana. In 2013, the Legislature renamed the fund to honor the late Kevin P. Reilly, Sr. for his tireless leadership in efforts to improve education.

After presenting a reporton the LEQTF to Regents and BESE, Treasurer Kennedy provided members with an update on the state’s Student Tuition and Revenue Trust (START) College Savings Program, which has skyrocketed to $464 million in total assets and more than 23,000 account owners.

For more information on the LEQTF or to open a START college savings account for a child, visit www.latreasury.com.

Contact:
Sarah Mulhearn
(225) 342-0012
smulhearn@treasury.state.la.us