U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
U.S. SENATE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and lead Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and Sen. Martin Heinrich, along with Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Assistant Speaker of the House, and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, announced that the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) has awarded more than $24 million in funding for construction projects at two New Mexico BIE schools — $9,000,000 to replace the gym at Pine Hill School in Pine Hill and $15,017,000 to finishing rebuilding Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle Community School in Bloomfield.
“This major funding will benefit students, parents, and teachers at Pine Hill School and Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle Community School. As ranking member of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m proud to have helped secure this strong federal investment to help make sure Native students in New Mexico have a safe, welcoming environment to learn,” Udall said. “Throughout my time in the Senate, I have made BIE school safety a priority by working to secure major increases in funding for school construction and holding numerous oversight hearings on the topic. But, there is still much to be done to close the huge gap that exists between resources and needs in schools across Indian Country, and I’ll keep fighting to make sure all Native students can attend schools where they can learn and grow in a positive environment. And, in particular, I plan to continue important oversight work for Pine Hill and all BIE schools to ensure that students are in safe learning environments.”
“Students across Indian Country deserve a high-quality education in a safe environment where they can learn and thrive. For too long, many Bureau of Indian Education schools have been in serious need of construction and repairs, including at Pine Hill and the Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle Community School. This funding to construct new educational facilities is long overdue—and it is only a first step in finally providing the resources necessary to afford these students a fair opportunity to learn. I will continue advocating for resources to complete all schools on the BIE replacement list so that all of our students are prepared to succeed,” Heinrich said.
“Every student should have the opportunity to learn and grow in a healthy, positive, and safe environment. I have fought for increased investments in Bureau of Indian Education Schools and am pleased that both the Pine Hill School and the Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle Community School will receive millions of dollars in necessary constriction funding. Still we must do much more to close the resource gap for schools in Indian Country and I’m glad the entire New Mexico congressional delegation will continue championing these funding priorities,” Luján said.
“Every child deserves access to a high quality education no matter where they live. This funding will go directly towards making long overdue improvements to Pine Hill School and the Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle Community School, helping to increase the quality of education and the quality of the educational experience at both. As a delegation, we must honor our trust responsibility and find opportunities to support schools in Indian Country that are too often over looked,” Torres Small said.