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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 8, 2003 - Issue 80


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Cherokee Nation Gives More Than $1.2 to Public Schools


by Native American Times


credits: Photo courtesy of the Cherokee Nation


Jack Jackson, Cherokee Nation citizen from Kansas, Okla., talks with Principal Chief Chad Smith and displays the first Cherokee Nation car tag sold, which Jackson purchased in October, 2001.TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation announced the distribution of more than $1.2 million to public schools in the Tribe's 14 county jurisdictional area.

The money comes from the sale of Cherokee Nation car tags over the past year. Under Cherokee Nation law, the tribe gives schools within its jurisdictional area 38% of the revenue generated from the sale of Cherokee Nation car tags. The tag revenue only goes to schools whose district lines are within the Cherokee Nation's 14 county jurisdictional area because the Cherokee Nation only sells tags to Cherokee Nation citizens who live with its jurisdiction.

"More than a year ago, the Cherokee Nation committed to sharing our car tag revenues with the public schools that educate our children," Said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. "Today, the schools tell us they need the additional funding more than ever, and the Cherokee Nation is proud to fulfill our promise to help fund public school education in Oklahoma. It is important to realize that this money from the Cherokee Nation is in addition to federal money paid to schools based on children who live on Indian land and federal Indian education money."

"On behalf of the public students within the Cherokee Nation, thank you Chief Smith and tribal leaders," said Sandy Garrett, state superintendent. "Your commitment to quality education for all children is another reflection of the community spirit of the sovereign Cherokee Nation to strive for better learning for all Oklahomans. At this particular time when our state is experiencing huge financial losses, and our schools in particular, this revenue is welcome and greatly needed, Thank you Chief Chad Smith for leading this effort for public school children."

"This money will go right into the general fund to boost things up," said Roger Kester, principal of Stillwell High School. which is receiving more than $17,000. "This will definitely be a big help. It's really needed. All I can say is thank you, thank you."

"We're truly excited about receiving any new revenues coming into the school district in the shortfalls of state revenues, " said Rita Pate, business manager for Collinsville Public Schools, which is receiving more than $12,000.

"The council and administration of the Cherokee Nation deserve a lot of credit for what they have legislated to do with the funds generated through the car tags," said Tony Pivec, superintendent at Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah, which will receive more than $46,000. "The fact that funding is being distributed through out our area schools speaks to the importance the Cherokee Nation puts on education."

Education funding is distributed based on the number of Cherokee children in each school, with each school receiving $70.59 per Cherokee student.

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