​​​​​​​​​​​​State of Wisconsin 
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands 

Who we are and what we do
The Board of Com​missioners of Public Lands (BCPL), Wisconsin’s oldest state agency, is comprised of Secretary of State Sarah Godlewski​, State Treasurer John Leiber​, and Attorney General Josh Kaul. ​We proudly carry on the pioneering commitment of our state’s early leaders to a constitutionally protected form of public education financing that originated with millions of acres of land granted by the federal government.

Nearly all of the School Trust Lands were sold over 100 years ago. The proceeds were used to establish the School Trust Funds.  The Common School Fund continues to grow with revenue from unclaimed property, clear proceeds of civil and criminal f​ees, fines and forfeitures.  The Normal School Fund continues to grow thr​ough revenue from timber production on School Trust Lands.

We manage these Funds and the remaining School Trust Lands for the benefit of public school libraries, the University of Wisconsin, and the state’s citizens. See our Common School Fund Brochure and our Normal School Fund Brochure​ for details.

We also maintain a rich archive of historical records related to the agency’s past and present land holdings.

With only 9.5 full-time employees we manage over $1.4​ billion in Trust Fund assets and 77,000 acres of School Trust Lands.  ​

How you benefit

This small state agency is an integral part of Wisconsin’s history and economy. Our financial investments, land ma​nagement practices, and archive benefit every citizen of the state.

  • We generate investment income for distribution as public school library aid.  See what your school received by clicking here​.
  • We loan money to municipalities and school districts for public purpose projects.
  • We contribute to Wisconsin’s sustainable timber economy​​, combat forest fragmentation, and secure public access to large blocks of northern forests.
  • We manage an extensive archive consulted by land owners, surveyors, researchers, and others interested in this rich source of historical information about the state’s land and early settlers.​

​In 2023, BCPL celebrated winning a first place award for percent participation​ in the State 
​combined ​Partners in ​Giving​ campaign.