The Obama Administration released a budget proposal on February 2, requesting $1 billion for American Indian Education in FY2016.
How would the money be spent?
Here are some of the ways:
- Reforming the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE): Approximately $150 million, according to Politico Pro.
- School construction: About $133 million, which is an increase of $58 million from this year’s budget, according to Politico Pro.
- School Repairs: about $68 million of that $133 million, according to Politico Pro. This is of $18 million more than this year’s budget provides for school repairs, according to The Washington Post.
- Replacement school construction, which means replacing the schools in the worst condition: about $45 million of the $133 million, according to Politico Pro. This is $25 million more than what’s in the current budget, according to MinnPost.
- Culturally-relevant attempts to improve college & career readiness, via the Native Youth Community Projects Program: about $50 million, according to Politico Pro
- Scholarships for post-secondary education: about $41 million, according to Politico Pro
- High speed broadband for schools serving Native youth: about $34 million, according to Politico Pro
While this budget increase is good news for Native youth, it will not address all of the need.
A December White House report said that over $967 million is needed to repair BIE schools, according to The Huffington Post.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell acknowledged that the budget would not allow for all of the repairs needed, but said the amount requested for school construction in this budget is “as far as we could reasonably go,” according to The Huffington Post.