WASHINGTON D.C. –
The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will conduct an oversight field hearing on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, Saturday, September 11, to examine unmet school construction needs at Bureau of Indian Education Schools.
The hearing was announced Friday in a joint statement by Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chair Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and committee member Al Franken (D-MN).
The hearing, titled, “Preparing Our Students for Tomorrow in Yesterday’s Schools: Construction and Facility Needs at Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Schools” is scheduled for 12:30 PM, September 11, at the Tribal Administration Building, 35500 Eagleview Road, in White Earth, Minnesota.
The backlog of needed construction projects at BIE is “alarming,” Dorgan said in announcing the hearing. He noted that the BIE currently rates 64 of its 183 schools in “poor” condition and 19 in just “fair” condition, meaning that nearly half of its schools are in only “fair” or “poor” condition. “It’s pretty difficult to conclude that we’re doing our best to prepare kids for tomorrow if we’re sending them to yesterday’s schools,” Dorgan said.
“Students can’t be expected to achieve at high levels when their school building is falling apart,” said Franken. “This is an issue I’m completely committed to and won’t rest until we find a way to fix this injustice.”
WHO: Senators: Senator Byron Dorgan, Chairman; Senator Al Franken, (D-MN)
Witnesses: John (Jack) Rever, P.E., Director Facilities, Environmental and Cultural Resources, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC; Erma Vizenor, Chairwoman, White Earth Tribal Nation, White Earth, MN; Michael Bongo, Secretary/Treasurer, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Cass Lake, MN; Lindsey White, Student, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School, Bena, MN; Marty Mullaney, Board Member, Modular Building Institute, Charlottesville, VA.
WHAT: Oversight field hearing on unmet construction and facility needs at Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools.
WHEN: 12:30 PM, Saturday, September 11, 2010.
WHERE: Tribal Administration Building, 35500 Eagleview Road, White Earth Reservation, White Earth, Minnesota.
WHY: To conduct oversight of action to meet unmet construction and facility needs at Bureau of Indian Education schools.
Contact: Barry Piatt
Contact Phone: 202-224-2551