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***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Subcommittee to Examine Challenges Facing Native American Schools

On Wednesday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m., the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), will hold a hearing entitled “Examining the Challenges Facing Native American Schools.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The federal government, primarily through the Departments of the Interior and Education, provides financial assistance for children on Indian reservations and Native American children in public schools to ensure they receive a quality education comparable to their peers. The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), housed under the Department of Interior’s Office of Indian Affairs, provides direct education to approximately 41,000 students through 185 elementary and secondary schools located on or near Indian reservations. Of these schools, 126 schools are operated by tribes through BIE grants, while 59 schools are directly operated by the BIE.

According to the Government Accountability Office, BIE-administered schools spend 56 percent more per student than traditional public schools and graduation and student achievement rates are consistently below the national average. Additionally, an investigative series by the Minneapolis Star Tribune found many schools are in severe disrepair without adequate facilities and educational resources.

Wednesday’s hearing will give members an opportunity to learn more the Bureau of Indian Education and the challenges facing Native American schools. For more information on hearings, visit

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Ms. Jill Burcum
Editorial Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune 
Minneapolis, MN

Mr. Brian Cladoosby
National Congress of American Indians
Washington, D.C.

Ms. Melissa Emrey-Arras
Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Boston, MA

Mr. Quinton Roman Nose
Executive Director
Tribal Education Departments National Assembly
Boulder, CO.  

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