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GAO Reports Find Issues With How BIE Manages School Buildings

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released two reports that found issues with how the Bureau of Indian Education manages its school buildings. The federal school system manages 185 schools on Native American reservations across the country.

In the first report, investigators found that officials within the Interior Department haven’t taken action to address weaknesses within the BIE’s school building inspection system. Internal and GAO reports conducted since 2011 have uncovered major issues with the system, but so far Indian Affairs officials have yet to develop or implement a corrective plan.

The second report explored how the BIE managed its school construction projects. The GAO found Indian Affairs hasn’t been consistently ensuring that projects are completed on time, according to school needs, and on budget.

Officials with the Interior Department didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.