“Champion” John Kline Forgets Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High

John Kline’s twitter followers frequently see tweets as #ThrowbackTuesday … when he will remind his followers of a news item that happened on that date … oh, it might be praising President Reagan or Bush … but also blasting President Obama.

With President Obama, it’s a clever way of reminding his followers of a failure … so let’s look back one year to see the newspaper headline :

Kline calls for action on tribal school construction

GOP congressman calls BIE construction delays “appalling.”

It shouldn’t take more than a decade to rebuild Minnesota’s deteriorating Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School. Nor should children in Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools elsewhere attend class in falling down buildings while faraway bureaucrats fail to act.

Fortunately, the estimated 49,000 students who attend BIE schools now have a welcome new champion in Minnesota Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline.

So what has our “new champion” done … well, he has announced his retirement … yet, somehow, one would have hoped that maybe the “new champion” would try to get something done on that before his term expires.

Well, not exactly … “Bug” has applied to be part of the next wave of funding priorities … and one would hope that with a new fiscal budget being prepared (the Appropriations Committee begins hearings this week for various departments including one on Thursday impacting Native Americans), that Chairman Kline would use his influence to push for funding.

Well, a letter was sent by Members of the Minnesota delegation … a bipartisan letter … sure there was Tim Walz (D-MN-01) which wasn’t a surprise since Congressman Walz began his teaching career on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and understands the critical need for improvements to our Indian schools … and there was Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) who went to the House floor on July 14, 2015 saying “it is time for us to take action and focus on making sure that these students have a safe school setting where they can learn, grow, and excel.”

In total eight Members of the Minnesota delegation signed the request … missing was “Champion” and Chairman of the Education Committee, John Kline.

Yeah, it’s Throwback Tuesday … a reason to remind John Kline of his words “We should never visit a high school built in a pole barn that was designed for work on cars and trucks. You’ve got kids in there in the winter in the cold wearing their coats and mittens.”

Yeah, Chairman Kline can complain … but the Republican-controlled House has cut funding over his tenure … the appalling part is that Chairman Kline ignored it for so long … and now appears to have forgotten that he is their “new champion“.

Heck, just read his recent OpEd in which he self-congratulates himself for his self-described “accomplishments” ( reforming No Child Left Behind when he accepted the Senate bipartisan proposal; reforming Workforce Development programs when he accepted the Senate bipartisan proposal; and reforming multiple-employer pension plans which was inserted into the year-end “must-pass” “keep-the-government-open” omnibus bill meaning his proposal did not stand for a separate vote and surprised Minnesota retirees) while ignoring the underfunding for Native Indian schools (just like he has ignored seniors who are waiting for action on renewal of the Older Americans Act and veterans wonder why he allowed the Agent Orange Act to lapse?)

Bug” is not the only school with problems — poor construction, electrical issue, mold, lack of classroom space, and limited handicap access– and the Strib should remind Chairman Kline that he needs to do his job … or just retire now.

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