The Cherokee Nation is contributing $7.8 million to 109 school districts — including Skiatook and Sperry — as part of the tribe’s annual Public School Appreciation Day initiative.
Through this year’s disbursement, Skiatook and Sperry districts collectively received more than $152,000.
“I am incredibly proud of the Cherokee Nation’s longstanding partnerships with school districts in Northeast Oklahoma. These investments in public education each year show that we are all in it together,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.
“This initiative continues to help strengthen and better the educational opportunities for our children across the reservation, and we at the Cherokee Nation know how vitally important that is.”
School superintendents from across Northeast Oklahoma gathered at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a luncheon on Tuesday, March 28, and received their schools’ checks from the tribe.
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Each school district makes the decision on how to use the funding provided by the Cherokee Nation. In past years, schools have used the funds to cover teacher salaries, upgrade facilities, support operations, expand technology and bolster school programs.
The money allocated to school districts is based on the number of Cherokee Nation citizens that have enrolled. However, the funding benefits all students in each school district. 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 gaming, the Cherokee Nation also allocates 38% of its annual car tag revenue directly to education.