News / World

Lawsuit faults Bureau of Indian Education schools

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new federal lawsuit says U.S. Bureau of Indian Education schools are chronically understaffed, lack systems to provide special education and have a deficient curriculum.

Advocacy groups said Thursday the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Havasupai students at an Arizona school within the Grand Canyon. Lawyers say the lawsuit potentially could impact other BIE schools.

The 95-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix faults the federal government for physically excluding Havasupai students with special needs and only teaching math and writing to students.

Alexis DeLaCruz, an attorney for the Native American Disability Law Center, says similar problems exist at many Bureau of Indian Education schools.

The U.S. Department of Interior did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.

The bureau oversees 183 schools in 23 states.

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