Media Contact: Tozier - Int. 4306 | Information Service
For Immediate Release: April 29, 1959

Legislation that would facilitate the transfer of surplus Federal Indian school properties to local public school districts, has been recommended to Congress, the Department of the Interior announced today.

Such transfers are now possible under a law enacted in 1953 but are limited to 20 acres in anyone conveyance. Since this limitation has interfered with some contemplated transfers and has seemingly served no useful purpose, the Department is proposing that it be deleted.

Under provisions of the 1953 law, 43 school properties totaling about 450 acres have so far been transferred to local school districts. Eight of these are in Oklahoma, seven each in Minnesota and Montana, five in Kansas, four each in New Mexico and Washington, two each in Arizona and Wisconsin", and one each in Idaho, North Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming.

One of the basic educational aims of the Bureau of Indian Affairs is to provide for the enrollment of Indian children in public schools rather than Federal Indian schools wherever this can be accomplished. The transfers have been made in line with this objective.