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Native American Programs For School Kids Face Possible Cuts Under Trump Budget

Natives Program Facebook photo.

The status of a Native American program for regional K-12 students is uncertain, following President Trump’s latest budget plan. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.  

A New York Times analysis says Indian Education would lose nearly $2 billion over a ten-year period, if the president’s budget is approved in its current form.  This would affect reservation schools, and education programs that teach about Native American culture such as the Eugene 4-J District’s natives program.

Brenda Brainard is its director.  She says about 1200 students participate every year.

“The Indian Ed program has been here since 1972," says Brainard.  "Our data (in the 4J school district) shows that as a result of our ability to keep students engaged in their culture, that students are staying more engaged in school. 

"The statewide assessment tests are actually creeping up a little, we’re still struggling at the 8th and 5th grade math level, but they have been steadily creeping up.” 

Brainard says besides the proposed budget, other factors affecting Indian Education funding could include a government shutdown if Congress can’t reach a new budget deal by October. 

Copyright 2017, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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