NEWSBRIEF: Midwest legislators pass local lawmaker’s resolution to improve Native American schools

Mary Kunesh-Podein

The Midwest Legislative Conference unanimously passed a resolution by Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein of New Brighton on July 24, urging the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education to improve the management, oversight and performance of its 183 schools. 

Kunesh-Podein is a DFL state representative serving District 41B, which includes parts of Columbia Heights, New Brighton, St. Anthony and the entirety of Hilltop. 

The requests in the resolution are based on a Government Accountability Office study, which found that bureau-run school facilities create unsafe conditions for students and staff. There are four bureau-run schools in greater Minnesota, all located in the northern part of the state, with the majority on Native American reservations. 

“No matter where they live, students should not be held back by the quality of their classrooms. The Government Accountability Office study clearly demonstrates that we have kids who are facing significant disadvantages,” said Kunesh-Podein. “We have a lot of work to do to ensure all students have access to a great education, but it is my hope that this resolution will help us get there.”

The Midwest Legislative Conference is the largest annual meeting of state and provincial legislators from the region.

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