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Judge Pares Down Arizona Tribal Students’ Suit Vs US Agency

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge has pared down a lawsuit that accuses the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education of failing to adequately provide for students on a small Arizona reservation.

Only one of the six claims remain after a ruling this week by U.S. District Judge Steven Logan in Phoenix.

The lawsuit filed in 2017 sought systematic reforms of the BIE, an agency that oversees more than 180 schools in nearly two dozen states but directly operates less than one-third of them. It focused on Havasupai Elementary School deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon.

Attorneys for several students wanted to force the BIE to provide services for those with special needs, a thorough curriculum, culturally relevant education and staff training to respond to trauma. They argued the BIE wasn’t following U.S. Department of Education and other federal regulations.