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HomeEducationCongress approves appropriation for financial assistance for school clothing, supplies

Congress approves appropriation for financial assistance for school clothing, supplies

The 8th Osage Nation Congress passed a $500,000 appropriation for the endeavor, offering up to $250 per student in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade

During the Tzi Sho Session, the Eighth Osage Nation Congress unanimously passed a $500,000 appropriation bill to offer Osage families financial assistance for school clothing supplies and technology needs.

According to the bill, ONCA 22-91 (sponsored by Congresswoman Whitney Red Corn), the $500,000 is appropriated to the Nation’s Financial Assistance Department to develop and administer the assistance program to applicants. The bill notes the assistance is intended to cover “the cost of school clothing, school supplies and school technology purchased for the academic year up to $250 per student in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade.”

Red Corn said she sponsored the bill to help families, especially those in need during the hard economic times. She also added “this piece of legislation was designed to meet the needs of our school-age children and our constitution reminds us that education of our people is essential to building a prosperous Osage society, but it also urges us to promote programs that protect our children… This assistance would relieve a burden in our Osage households… and it would ensure that our children have confidence in themselves and that they have everything they need to get started on the right foot and succeed in school.”

Congressman John Maker said he supports the bill considering the Nation and country are experiencing inflation with higher costs and people are still adjusting their lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Anytime we can do anything at all to help our people, families, big families that need help with clothing, I think it’s something we really need to do.”

Congresswoman Jodie Revard said the $500,000 will cover 2,000 children whose parents/ guardians apply for the assistance. The assistance is also not need-based, will be operated on a first-come, first-served basis and Revard noted there is no immediate start date for the program to take effect pending policy and procedure development by the department. 

Congressman Joe Tillman said he supports the bill considering the hard economic times and heard a news report that said “60% of Americans who work live paycheck to paycheck, that’s hard.”

Congresswoman Pam Shaw said she supports the bill, adding “I’m proud we’re able to do this for our children, it’s heartbreaking to see our little Osage kids go to school without the things that they need, whether it be clothing, whether it be supplies that they need, so I urge you to vote yes.” 

ONCA 22-91 passed with a 12-0 vote on Sept. 26 and Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear signed the bill two days later.

For more information on the Nation’s Financial Assistance department and services, visit: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/services/financial-assistance

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Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.
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