8:30 p.m.

 

Gail Lowe, chair of the State Board of Education, this week requested an Attorney General Opinion addressing Permanent School Fund investments. The request is focused on whether PSF funds could be invested in charter school facilities, which is an interesting concept on its own, but the specific questions asked could also have a broader impact.

 

The SBOE had taken action in 2010 to allow the PSF to invest in charter school facilities, subject to approval by the Attorney General or to legislative authority.

 

However, the request poses the following question, in part: "Whether the Board must, consistent with the 'prudent person' standard...invest with the sole purpose of maximizing the future value of the PSF, or may the Board also consider benefits to a state policy in making an investment...which may not have an expected return as high as the expected return of the likely highest returning class of assets within the PSF?"

 

Potential investments of the Teacher Retirement System have come under scrutiny in the past as members and legislators worried whether such investments would be solely in the best interest of the fund's members or if they were being considered in order to provide another state benefit (such as improving state transportation options, or assisting in emerging technology).