The Permanent Fund is producing new dividends, but this time for public education.

Last year Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, created an education raffle that lets Alaskans donate portions of their Permanent Fund dividend to the Department of Early Education and Development. He advanced this plan under Senate Bill 78 but the bill was ultimately melded with House Bill 213 in the waning days of session last year.

According to a news release from the Senate Majority’s office, Alaskans donated $976,000, and half of that went to public education.

More than $488,000 was donated to public education through PFD applications this year. This amount will be distributed as grants to local schools based on the average daily number of students in each district.

A portion of the contributions goes toward a raffle that gives Alaskans who donate a chance to win one of four prizes. Those prizes range from $2,441 (fourth place) to $19,528 (first place).

Donations are made in $100 increments, but as some may have made more than a single donation, there was no report on how many actually participated.

Of the total sum of donations, another 25% went to an education endowment fun. The remaining 25% went to the raffle’s fund. Prize money comes from 15% and the balance remains in a raffle fund designed to help produce greater prize amounts.

“I am thrilled so many Alaskans participated in this fun, new way to support education,” Bishop said in a prepared statement. “It’s win-win for all Alaskans who will benefit from the larger investment in public education.”

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