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Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs

For Immediate Release: February 25, 2004
Contact: Nedra Darling

BIA to Publish Replacement School Construction Priority List

WASHINGTON - Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs David W. Anderson today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs will publish the Replacement School Construction Priority List in the Federal Register. The current list, which was last published on July 9 and July 18, 2003, is revised by the addition of newly prioritized schools. The BIA uses the list to determine the order in which Congressional appropriations are requested to replace aging BIA-funded schools and dormitories.

Facilities on the previously published list that funding is requested for in fiscal year 2005 are, in order, as numbers 1 through 5 at the top of the revised list:

1. Bread Springs Day School, Gallup, N.M.
2. Ojo Encino Day School, Cuba, N.M.
3. Chemawa Indian School, Salem, Ore.
4. Beclabito Day School, Shiprock, N.M.
5. Leupp School, Winslow, Ariz.

The Replacement School Construction Priority List includes 14 schools considered in need of replacement of their core academic and/or dormitory facilities. This list of 14 should be more than sufficient to continue the Replacement School Construction Program through fiscal year 2007. Funding and scheduling for these projects is contingent on the budget process.

1. Dilcon Community School, Winslow, Ariz.
2. Porcupine Day School, Porcupine, S.D.
3. Crown Point/T'iists'oozi'bi'olta Community School, Crownpoint, N.M.
4. Muckleshoot Tribal School, Auburn, Wash.
5. Dennehotso Boarding School, Dennehotso, Ariz.
6. Circle of Life Survival School, White Earth, Minn.
7. Keams Canyon Elementary School, Keams Canyon, Ariz.
8. Rough Rock Community School, Chinle, Ariz.
9. Crow Creek Elementary/Middle/High School, Stephen, S.D
10. Kaibeto Boarding School, Kaibeto, Ariz.
11. Blackfeet Dormitory, Browning, Mont.
12. Beatrice Rafferty School, Perry, Maine
13. Little Singer Community School, Winslow, Ariz.
14. Cove Day School, Red Valley, Ariz.

The process used by the BIA to develop the Replacement School Construction Priority List involved identifying which schools have critical health and safety concerns. The list includes schools which ranked highest in need of replacement according to the following criteria, in order of priority: 1) health and safety deficiencies, 2) environmental deficiencies, 3) accessibility for persons with disabilities and 4) condition of existing utilities and site improvements.

In addition, any school placed on the Replacement School Construction Priority List is eligible for the Tribal School Construction Demonstration Program, which provides incentives to tribes to match federal funds to build replacement schools. Participation in the program would expedite the funding for a school replacement project.

In four years, President Bush has dedicated a total of $1.1 billion for replacement, construction and repair of BIA-funded schools. That four-year total is $370 million more than the total amount provided over the preceding eight years and incorporates the $229.1 million proposed for the program by President Bush earlier this month in his fiscal year 2005 budget request.

The Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs has responsibility for fulfilling the department's trust responsibilities to individual and tribal trust beneficiaries, as well as promoting tribal self-determination, self-governance and economic development for the nation's 562 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and their 1.8 million members.

The Assistant Secretary also oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the 179-year old agency that provides services to individual American Indians and Alaska Natives from the Federally recognized tribes, and the BIA school system. The school system serves approximately 50,000 American Indian children in 184 elementary and secondary day and boarding schools located on or near 63 reservations in 23 states. In school year 2002-2003, the BIA directly operated one-third of these schools and the remaining two-thirds were tribally operated under BIA contracts or grants.


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