SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Auditors say an Oregon state agency has improperly distributed $76 million from an account that boosts school funding.
Officials say the money will likely be paid back from other investment earnings, so less will be available for schools in future years. Auditors blamed faulty accounting procedures at the Department of State Lands.
The Common School Fund was created at statehood to collect revenue generated from state-owned land, and the State Land Board distributes investment earnings to schools.
An audit by the secretary of state's office found that from 2001 to 2007 the board paid out a portion of the principal on top of the investment earnings because the various funds the department handled were imprecisely identified.
The state Constitution requires the board to protect the principal.