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FM123

(10,063 posts)
Thu Dec 22, 2022, 10:03 AM Dec 2022

'I Bawled': A Congresswoman's 18-Month Fight For A Neglected Tribal School Just Paid Off

(HuffPost) A single sentence in the 4,155-page omnibus spending bill is everything that Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) came to Congress to do.

WASHINGTON – Buried in the 4,155-page omnibus spending bill unveiled in the Senate on Tuesday is a single sentence that’s likely to go unnoticed by almost everyone – except the freshman congresswoman who fought for it with everything she had for the last year and a half. “For an additional amount for ‘Education Construction,’ $90,465,000, to remain available until expended for necessary expenses related to the consequences of flooding at the To’Hajiilee Community School.”

snip

The To’Hajiilee Community School has been neglected and massively underfunded since its founding. It’s one of 183 K-12 schools overseen by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), responsible for providing education to more than 48,000 Native American children around the country. Of these schools, 86 are in “poor condition,” and 73 don’t have the money for needed repairs, according to BIE data from 2021. An additional 41 of these schools are in “fair condition.” The school isn’t just substandard; it’s a site that carries historical trauma. Like many of today’s BIE schools, the To’Hajiilee Community School is also a former Indian boarding school. For about 150 years, the U.S. government forced tens of thousands of Indigenous children to attend these schools to try to assimilate them into white culture. As a result, these kids endured physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Some died. Others disappeared.

snip

Over the past few weeks, as lawmakers scrambled to get their priorities into the $1.7 trillion year-end spending bill, Stansbury says she spent “every day, all day long,” dogging House and Senate appropriators, Hill leaders and administration officials to include money for the school. She didn’t know until Tuesday morning, when the bill was publicly released and she pored over its text, that her efforts had paid off. “We’ve been working so hard on this, for so long, I literally woke up … and bawled my eyes out,” Stansbury told HuffPost in an emotional interview on Tuesday. “I invested everything I had to get funding for this school. The To’Hajiilee community is only a short distance from Albuquerque, but the people out there have so much need, and the community hasn’t had its needs and priorities met. It’s just so huge for this community.”

“Even if I accomplish nothing else in my time serving in Congress,” she added, “this is the most important thing I could have ever imagined that we could get into the budget.”

Read More: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/melanie-stansbury-tribal-school-funding-construction_n_63a1fe41e4b04414304b9f12

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'I Bawled': A Congresswoman's 18-Month Fight For A Neglected Tribal School Just Paid Off (Original Post) FM123 Dec 2022 OP
THAT is what they are elected to do: care for their constituents. Name one repube who does this CurtEastPoint Dec 2022 #1
This is what big government IS all about. Bluethroughu Dec 2022 #2
This Congresswoman is in office for all of the right reasons Tom Rinaldo Dec 2022 #3
Excellent! Just Excellent! calimary Dec 2022 #7
And that amount is couch change in the overall budget! Hermit-The-Prog Dec 2022 #8
To'Hajiilee website: panader0 Dec 2022 #4
thank you for the link FM123 Dec 2022 #5
Wonderful! K&R crickets Dec 2022 #6

CurtEastPoint

(18,868 posts)
1. THAT is what they are elected to do: care for their constituents. Name one repube who does this
Thu Dec 22, 2022, 10:21 AM
Dec 2022

KUDOS TO HER!

Bluethroughu

(5,416 posts)
2. This is what big government IS all about.
Thu Dec 22, 2022, 10:28 AM
Dec 2022

Sure the rich and initialed are all about themselves, but the rest of the country is about building a better stronger community and country.

Excellent job freshman.

Tom Rinaldo

(22,950 posts)
3. This Congresswoman is in office for all of the right reasons
Thu Dec 22, 2022, 10:28 AM
Dec 2022

I know nothing about her other than reading this, but the fact that she cared so much for relatively powerless constituents in need tells me what I need to know about her. Bravo Job well done!

calimary

(82,548 posts)
7. Excellent! Just Excellent!
Thu Dec 22, 2022, 03:55 PM
Dec 2022

Amazing what a year and a half, and a single sentence, can do - when it comes to HELPING PEOPLE.

Just one little detail can make a world of difference in people’s lives and futures.

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