Using historic documents found in the General Land Office Archives, the lesson discusses how substantial land grants influenced settlers to undertake a long and perilous journey and move to Texas during the early 1800s.
A former school teacher, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is making education a top priority at the General Land Office. This website is the first of its kind in the GLO’s storied history, bringing all of the agency’s educational resources together in one place for teachers and students. It will also be the home of future GLO educational lesson plans, activities and other offerings.
The GLO has long played a key role in education across Texas. The Texas Constitution of 1876 set aside half of Texas’ remaining public lands to establish a Permanent School Fund (PSF) to help finance public schools. Legislators intended for this land to be sold and the proceeds deposited into the PSF. Deposits to the PSF would be an inexhaustible source of revenue because only interest income from the fund could be spent and would be apportioned among the state's public schools.
The Land Office manages these PSF lands, including sales, trades, leases and improvements, as well as administration of contracts, mineral royalty rates, and other transactions. These lands generate income primarily through oil and gas revenues, but also through land sales and leases for surface uses. The interest earned on the PSF investments is distributed by the State Board of Education to every school district in Texas on a per-pupil basis. In short, the GLO turns Texas’ vast natural mineral resources into textbooks for Texas’ future leaders.