Aug 20, 2014 at 10:31 am
BENA, Minn. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says she will work to find funding to replace the dilapidated metal pole barn that serves as a high school on the Leech Lake Band reservation.
Jewell toured the converted garage Tuesday that has housed the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school for nearly four decades. The roof leaks, the ceiling are full of mold and rodents and bats live in the walls. The school is so poorly insulated that ice must be chipped away from the doors before students can enter.
The Star Tribune says replacing the school would cost $25 million — nearly half of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education's budget. But, Jewell says she will work to find funding from Congress and other agencies to address the deteriorating school.
The bureau operates 183 schools on 64 reservations in 23 states.
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