School faces unprecedented loss of chapter support


In April, Ch’ooshgai Community School lost the support of two out of the five chapters it serves, all five of which the school needed to continue as a grant school.

Every four years CCS applies for reauthorization of their funding grant. The application normally includes chapter resolutions from the five chapters they serve – Tohatchi, Naschitti, Coyote Canyon, Mexican Springs and Twin Lakes.

All five had issued supporting resolutions, but on April 10 and April 17 Coyote Canyon then Tohatchi rescinded prior resolutions of support.

According to the Department of Diné Education, the rescinding resolutions put the school out of compliance for reauthorization.

DoDE Senior Education Specialist Darrick Franklin said the withdrawal created unprecedented circumstances, because no grant school had ever lost the support of chapters within its jurisdiction.

“This is the first time it’s happened in the history of grant schools,” Franklin said.

Both chapter resolutions reference calls for an investigation into allegations about school dysfunction under the previous school board, while a Fort Defiance Agency resolution from April 8 calls for an investigation by DoDE.

In November, communities had voted in a new school board, with the old school board facing allegations of financial mismanagement and violation of public record access for parents to school audits.

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Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo's beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at