FT. APACHE - Theodore Roosevelt School has settled two lawsuits with the U.S. Department of the Interior in the federal Civilian Board of Contract Appeals in Washington D.C. The cases stem from claims of excessive deficit spending and undocumented purchases by the prior school administration and board during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 school years. The matters are now fully resolved under a final court order dated April 24, 2020.

The lawsuits arose after the Department of the Interior demanded repayment of more than $900,000 from the school after a series of questioned financial transactions during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 school years. Now, after corrective measures at the school and the extensive compilation of documentation, as well as consultation with Department of Interior staff, the school has repaid $11,826 to resolve and settle the claims.

Because of the overspending at issue in the litigation, the Tribal Council had appointed a new school board in April, 2016 to restore stability to school programs and finances. The new board aggressively worked to manage and prioritize spending needs. As a result, the school has now returned to stable financial footing. School board president Gwendena Lee-Gatewood reports the school maintains close oversight measures to ensure its funds are used only as necessary for the direct benefit of student welfare and outcomes. Lee-Gatewood said all fund accounts now show a healthy positive balance. The new governing board is pleased to bring this matter to a successful conclusion for the school and for the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Theodore Roosevelt School is located at historic Fort Apache, a National Historic Landmark site. The school board recognizes the school's important and unique historic role. The board is committed to the continued expansion of educational opportunities and the investment in facilities for the benefit of its students. The school encourages parents who want a special learning environment for their middle school child, with an option for dorm living, to contact the school about enrollment.

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