The Texas Permanent School Fund, which guarantees school district bonds and supports the purchase of student textbooks, realized a 25.02 percent return in 2009. The fund, the largest public endowment for public schools in the nation, was valued at $22.2 billion on Dec. 31, 2009, up from $18.1 billion on Dec. 31, 2008.

The PSF’s return was in the top 10 percent of public funds greater than $1 billion and in the top 10 percent of endowments greater than $1 billion last year. It was also in the top third of public funds and endowments for the two-year period ending Dec. 31, 2009.

The PSF’s guarantee of school bonds allows districts to gain AAA ratings for their bonds, saving them millions in interest and insurance costs. The proceeds of the fund also generates the revenue that is used to pay for textbooks and instructional materials for the state’s 4.7 million schoolchildren and provides general financial support to the more than 8,000 Texas public schools.