The Cherokee Nation presented more than $6.3 million to 107 school districts during the tribe’s annual Public School Appreciation Day held in a virtual format Wednesday. This year’s disbursement is the largest since the tribe began its annual contributions in 2002.
Aside from the millions of dollars the Cherokee Nation provides to the state of Oklahoma for education funding each year through the tribal-state gaming compact, the Cherokee Nation also allocates 38 percent of its annual car tag revenue directly to education. Each school district makes the decision on how to use the funding for their schools. In the past years, schools have used the funds to cover anything from teacher salaries, facilities, operations, technology improvements or school programs. Many schools also used tribal car tag dollars to respond and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 over the past year.
During Wednesday’s event, Bunch also announced that the Cherokee Nation will soon begin providing a virtual tutoring service for all students within in the tribe’s reservation in grades K-12, regardless of whether they are a tribal citizen. The Cherokee Nation will offer the service through Varsity Tutors, a company committed to assessing every student’s unique needs and learning styles and connecting them with a tutor best fit to work with the student. Cherokee Nation will work directly with schools in the tribe’s reservation to offer the tutoring service to students, and more details about this program will be announced at a future date.
Muskogee County received $591,366.