Cherokees to distribute $1.2 million in tag revenues to schools - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Cherokees to distribute $1.2 million in tag revenues to schools


TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Vehicle tag sale revenues will allow the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to distribute $1.2 million to public schools in its 14-county jurisdictional area.

About 300 schools in northeastern Oklahoma will receive the money by Feb. 1, officials said.

The Cherokee Nation's jurisdictional area includes all of Washington, Nowata, Craig, Mayes, Adair, Cherokee and Sequoyah counties, and parts of Tulsa, Delaware, Ottawa, Rogers, McIntosh, Wagoner and Muskogee counties.

``We are the only tribe in the state which shares vehicle tag revenues with public schools,'' said Mike Miller, the tribe's communications director. ``The tribal council and Chief Chad Smith want them funded because this is where Cherokee kids go to schools.''

Thirty-eight percent of the Cherokee Nation's gross revenue from vehicle tag sales are earmarked for public schools in the 14-county area, a slightly higher percentage than is set aside from Oklahoma vehicle tag sales for public schools, Miller said.

More than a year ago, the tribe committed to sharing car tag revenues with the schools.

The payouts to the individual schools are based on the number of Cherokee students counting toward a school's enrollment, Miller said.

``This money will go right into the general fund to boost things up,'' Roger Kester, principal of Stilwell High School, said of the more than $17,000 his district will receive.

The Collinsville school system will get more than $12,000, the tribe reported.

``We're truly excited about receiving any new revenues coming into the school district at a time of shortfalls of state revenues,'' said Rita Pate, business manager for Collinsville Public Schools in Tulsa County.

Nick Lay, a Cherokee Nation council member who represents Tulsa and Washington counties, said his tribe has made history.

``No other tribe in the United States has set aide this percentage of money from tag revenues to go directly to local schools.''

Lay said public schools in Tulsa County would receive more than $67,000.

The Cherokee Nation, which has more than 220,000 members and is America's second largest Indian tribe, behind the Navajo Nation.
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