The Bureau of Indian Education schools that operate on tribal lands and reservations in 23 states around the country will continue to operate and deliver instruction to students during the federal government shutdown, according to information from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The saving grace for these schools is that they are foward funded, meaning the bulk of their operating money for the current school year is already in hand. The bureau directly operates nearly 60 elementary and secondary schools on reservations. Similarly, the Bureau of Indian Education also will continue to ensure that funding and technical assistance is available to the 125 tribally-controlled elementary and secondary schools and the 27 tribally-controlled community colleges that are heavily dependent on federal grant funding.
Collectively, the BIE direct-run schools and tribally-controlled schools serve roughly 42,000 K-12 students.
Transportation, nutrition, and safety services will also continue as usual at the BIE schools throughout the shutdown, according to the Interior Department’s fact sheet. The education services of the Bureau of Indian Affairs will fare much better in the current shutdown than they did 20 years ago when those programs were not forward funded, reports Indian Country Today.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.