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EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
DUCATIONAL SERVICES for thousands of children and adults are provided by funds administered by the Department
of the Interior. These services are for the Indians residing in 25 States, for natives of Alaska and the Pribilof Islands, and for school children in the Virgin Islands. Educational services have also been provided for other groups, such as the children of National Park employees and the dependents of employees working near reclamation and other projects of the Department of the Interior.
EDUCATION OF INDIANS AND NATIVES All public and private inquiries into the status of Indians in the United States agree on the necessity of increasing educational services. The School Census Report of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 1950 shows that 18,341 Indian children are completely without school facilities. Probably one of the worst situations with regard to education is to be found on the Navajo Reservation in the States of Arizona and New Mexico where half of the schoolage population, or about 13,014 children, do not attend school.
Educational programs are arranged in 25 States for a total of approximately 77,175 Indian children. School census figures indicate that 36,090 are attending public schools near their homes, 8,428 are in mission boarding schools and private schools, and 32,657 are enrolled in Federal boarding and day schools.
Many Indian children attending public schools live on nontaxable Indian lands in districts with limited resources. The Federal Government assists these school districts financially, through contracts with the State departments of education. During the last few years, contracts have been arranged with 14 States. In 1950, the number of Indian children provided education in public schools under these contracts was 23,192. Federal expeditures for the education of Indians in recent years are shown in table 31. These figures have been obtained from the Department of Interior.
EDUCATION IN ALASKA AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS It is estimated that there are 10,500 Indian children of school age in Alaska of whom 3,700 are in Territorial public schools, 4,161 are in three Federal boarding and 93 day schools, about 600 are in private and mission schools, and about 2,000 are without local school facilities.
Amounts expended for education in Alaska and the Virgin Islands are listed in tables 32 and 33, respectively.
Table 31,- FEDERAL FUNDS ALLOTTED FOR THE EDUCATION OF INDIANS
IN THE UNITED STATES, 1941-42 TO 1950–51
Table 32.-FEDERAL FUNDS ALLOTTED FOR THE EDUCATION OF NATIVES
IN ALASKA, 1942-43 TO 1950–51
Table 33.- FEDERAL FUNDS ALLOTTED FOR EDUCATION IN THE VIRGIN
ISLANDS, 1942-43 TO 1951-52
EDUCATION IN THE PRIBILOF ISLANDS The Pribilof Islands, located in the Bering Sea, approximately 250 miles north of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, constitute a special Government reservation set aside by Congress in 1869 for the protection of the Alaska fur seals and for other purposes. Under the Act of February 26, 1944, as amended, the Government is responsible for the health, education, and general welfare of the Aleut native resident population of approximately 550.
Only two of the Islands in the Pribilof group are inhabited, St. Paul Island and St. George Island. The educational program for these two small communities is administered directly by the Fish and Wildlife Service, with the technical advice of the Territorial Department of Education for Alaska. Under the terms of an agreement concluded between the two agencies on September 7, 1948, the school program for the Pribilof Islands has been closely integrated with the program for the Territory as a whole. Four teachers are employed by the Service in the St. Paul Island school and two teachers operate the smaller school on the neighboring Island of St. George. All Aleut residents on the Pribilof Islands reservation between the ages of 5 and 16 are required to attend the elementary schools maintained on each of the two inhabited Islands. A ninth grade was added to the school on St. Paul Island beginning with the school year of 1951-52 as the first step in the establishment of a high-school program on the Islands. About 80 Aleut children are enrolled in the school on St. Paul Island and about 40 in the smaller school on St. George Island. From time to time children of Federal civilian personnel stationed on the Islands also attend the schools.
Funds allotted for the school program on the islands for the school years 1950–51 and 1951-52 totaled $26,400 for each year.
EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN OF NATIONAL PARK
An Act approved June 4, 1948, authorizes the use of revenues received from visitors to Yellowstone National Park for providing educational facilities to pupils who are dependents of personnel engaged in the administration, operation, and maintenance of that Park. Revenues received from Park visitors in amounts sufficient to cover the educational expenses are made available for expenditure in a Special Fund Appropriation account from which reimbursements are made to the local school board at Park headquarters and school boards in surrounding communities on a pro rata per pupil basis for tuition and transportation costs.
The Act of 1948 provides that, if in the opinion of the Secretary of the Interior, educational facilities are inadequate, the Secretary at his discretion, may enter into cooperative agreements with State or local agencies (a) for the operation of school facilities; (6) for the construction and expansion of local facilities at Federal expense; and (c) for contribution by the Federal Government, on an equitable basis satisfactory to the Secretary, to cover the increased cost to local agencies for providing the educational services required. A new high school was constructed in Gardiner, Mont., during 1951 which will serve the children of employees at Yellowstone National Park. The Federal Government's contribution toward the cost of the new school, under authority of Section 2 of the above cited Act, will amount to approximately $54,000.
Total expenditures for the children of employees at Yellowstone National Park, in recent years, are given in table 34.
Table 34.-FEDERAL FUNDS ALLOTTED FOR EDUCATION OF CHILDREN OF
EMPLOYEES OF YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, 1948-49 TO 1951-52
REVENUE FROM GRAZING LANDS Under the terms of a 1934 law, 50 percent of the receipts from each of the national grazing districts is paid to the State in which the grazing land is located. This money may be used as the State legislature prescribes for the benefit of the subdivisions having such grazing lands within their areas.
In addition, 25 percent of the receipts from each grazing district located on Indian land ceded to the United States for disposition under the public-land laws is paid to the State in which such land is located. These payments are for the benefit of county schools and county roads of the respective counties.
Table 35 lists the amounts paid to the States by the Bureau of Land Management from receipts from grazing lands over the past 10 years. Specific amounts paid to individual States during the 1949-50 and 1950–51 school years are presented in table 36. The Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior, which supplied these data has no information on the proportions of these payments that are used by the States and counties for public schools. These figures have not been included in table 4 since the funds may be used by the States for either roads or schools.
Table 35.-FEDERAL PAYMENTS FROM RECEIPTS FOR LEASING GRAZING
LANDS, 1941–42 TO 1950–51
Table 36.-FEDERAL PAYMENTS FROM RECEIPTS FOR LEASING GRAZING
LANDS, FOR THE 1949–50 AND 1950–51 SCHOOL YEARS
Federally owned lands in several States and Territories are rich in mineral deposits. In 1920, Congress enacted a law providing that 3712 percent of the receipts from rentals, royalties, and bonuses from mineral lands in the public domain be paid to the States. The provision affects only those States in which such mineral lands are located. Funds paid to the States under this law may be used for the construction and maintenance of roads or for the support of public schools or other public educational institutions as the legislatures of the respective States may direct.
Under this legislation, payments to the States and Territories have amounted to more than 69 million dollars during the past 10 years. Federal payments to the States for each of these school years are shown in table 37.
Amounts paid to each of 22 States and Alaska for the 1949-50 and 1950–51 school years are listed in table 38. The Bureau of Land Management has no information regarding the portions of funds allocated to roads and schools by the respective legislatures.
Figures for the 1950–51 school year have not been included in table 4 since the funds are not exclusively for education.