Feds Don’t Know How Bad BIE Schools Are; McCain Offers Solution

by Tanya H. Lee

No heat, carbon monoxide leaks and persistently dripping ceilings are some of the appalling conditions federal reports have detailed at Bureau of Indian Education schools. But these documents tell only part of the story, according to the Government Accountability Office. The latest report from the GAO found the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ inspection program for BIE’s 183 elementary and secondary schools is grossly inadequate. The law requires that BIE schools and dorms be inspected annually, but in 2015, 69 schools were not inspected; 16 of those schools had dormitories, meaning students lived in the buildings 24/7 for weeks on end. Since 2012, the number of uninspected BIE schools has been increasing; some schools have not been inspected at all in nearly a decade.

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