BENA, Minn. (AP) — Federal officials are visiting a school on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe reservation to get a firsthand look at construction needs and to talk with teachers about the challenges of providing high quality education.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn will tour the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School in Bena on Tuesday.
The school serves almost 200 students from Kindergarten through 12th grade, in a building originally built as an auto mechanic school and bus garage. The facility is deteriorating and has multiple safety and security concerns.
The school is funded by the Bureau of Indian Education. Schools in that category are among the lowest performing nationwide. A group is studying issues BIE-funded schools face and will propose plans to improve education while honoring students’ heritage.
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