A federal report released last week casts a critical light on the conditions of roads on tribal lands, highlighting the widespread challenge of getting Native American children to school during bad weather.
The General Accounting Office sent a team to visit 10 school districts on three reservations in Arizona and South Dakota, where they interviewed school officials and evaluated bus routes by riding with students to school. They experienced unmaintained roads, bumpy rides, loud rattling windows, and lengthy routes. The government team rode buses in May and June when weather conditions were fairly good compared with the winter months.
The chronic-absenteeism rate for Native American students is 23 percent, compared with 14 percent for non-Indian students, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education.
A version of this article appeared in the May 30, 2017 edition of Education Week as Poor Roads on Tribal Lands Lead to Student Absenteeism