The Senate Committee on Mining and Forestry considered this week the confirmation of Aaron Vande Linde as the director of Minnesota’s School Trust Lands. Director Vande Linde was the first director appointed to the position in 2015 and has been reappointed by Governor Walz to continue his work.
The School Trust Lands office supervises 2.5 million acres and an additional 1 million acres of mineral rights that have been guided by the DNR on behalf of Minnesota public schools. This land was set aside in the 1800s as a continuous source of funding for the Minnesota public education system. Through the investments accrued from these lands during Vande Linde’s tenure, it currently provides $45 for every student within the public-school system in the state.
During his committee hearing, he discussed his past accomplishments and future agenda as he continues his position in the School Trust Lands. As the first director, he created the policies and regulations in place today to help develop and invest in the land the office oversees. In fact, the office’s strategic plan has been so effective under his leadership, that the plan will be updated ahead of schedule and will continue implementing innovative solutions to truly invest the land and deliver for students in our state.
Director Vande Linde attained universal bipartisan support from members of the committee, and his reappointment to the position was moved to the floor where it will receive a final vote from the Senate.