INTERIOR, EDUCATION DEPARTMENTS SPAR OVER FUNDING
April 4, 2018
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are clashing over $1.6 million in federal funds meant to help administer Bureau of Indian Education schools, some of the lowest-performing in the nation. In a letter to DeVos obtained by POLITICO, Zinke charges that the Education Department appears to be acting “not in the best interests of our students” by withholding the funds.
— Zinke in the March 22 letter also questions the Education Department’s legal authority for holding back the money. The Title I administrative funding was withheld by Education when the bureau did not meet an Oct. 2 deadline to appoint members to a negotiated rulemaking committee, according to a letter from Jason Botel, an Education official, also obtained by POLITICO. That negotiated rulemaking committee is charged with helping the bureau develop a “state plan” required under the Every Student Succeeds Act. In addition, Interior did not submit a detailed timeline for its rulemaking process by the deadline, the March 5 letter from Botel says.