Sunday, February 06, 2005


The flaming dipstick in the White House released his budget proposals for this year. "President Bush's budget will propose slashing grants to local law enforcement agencies and cutting spending for environmental protection, American Indian schools and home-heating aid for the poor... The Bureau of Indians Affairs would be sliced by $100 million to $2.2 billion. The reduction would come almost entirely from the agency's effort to build more schools."

Good news, because it's not as if Indian schools are the worst in the nation, clearly what's needed is a cut in the funding of the most underfunded "educational" institution in the United States. Indian schools in general are desperately in need of an overhaul, or preferably razing and rebuilding. Previous analysis by the GAO indicated that BIA schools are spending more than comparable schools on facilities, but less on instruction. In spite of this disparity, in school year 1999-2000 65 percent of BIA schools were graded as being in "less than adequate condition," compared to a national average of 24 percent. In October of 2002 the backlog of unmet maintenance expenditures stood at $642 million, which was actually an improvement over the $900 million backlog in 2000.

Indian schools have been neglected for years, and the facilities now represent a disproportionate drain on available funding, which is inadequate to begin with. Previous (and long overdue) increases in funding available for construction and renovation were beginning to address the problem that many BIA run schools are not up to speed, and some are outright dangerous to students, and now we have cuts. Cuts directed at the poorest and most undereducated demographic in the United States, to fuel tax cuts for the wealthiest and most pampered.

How do Republicans stand on this issue? "I stand with the president that we need to eliminate wasteful spending and we need to look through all the programs," said House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa.

Educating Indian children = wasteful spending.

Let's just call it No White Child Left Behind.