The Marysville School District in Washington state has $1.26 million more in educational funding this year, thanks to the Tulalip Tribes.
The tribal nation donated the funding on February 8 to help save programs suspended or canceled because of drastic budget cuts, according to the HeraldNet.
In December the state slashed $250 million in education funding statewide. The Marysville School District’s share of the cut was $2 million for this school year.
Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors stepped up to help fill the gap.
“We watched this, and we knew if there was a way to help we would like to stand up and be part of our larger community that helps out those in need,” said Melvin Sheldon, chairman of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors.
The $1.26 million was in addition to the tribes’ $1.8 million annual contribution for education initiatives.
The Tulalip Tribe Board of Directors initially looked at funding varsity sports teams at Marysville Getchell High School, but decided to focus instead on stemming educational cuts that were happening throughout the district, board member Glen Gobin said.
“Our original intent was to fund Getchell sports then we got deeper. … and it very quickly became apparent that the money needed to go into the education part,” Gobin said.
The funds will help the district provide science curriculum and professional development for middle schools; math materials, teacher training and two district math coaches; a new data system to track and analyze student achievement; cultural diversity training for staff; C squad sports teams at Marysville Getchell High School; and all-day kindergarten and teachers for kindergarten through third-grade to reduce class sizes at Tulalip and Quil Ceda Elementary Schools.
“I’ve been devastated by how our state has handled the budget crisis,” Marysville School Board member Darci Becker said. “It cut deeply into all schools’ budgets, but for us here in Marysville, it’s been very painful. I hope (students) can understand the gift that they have been given.”
The district will receive $860,000 followed by four quarterly payments making up the remaining balance over the next year.
“It’s huge for academics, it plugs that hole,” Marysville Superintendent Larry Nyland said.
The Tulalip Tribes has a tradition of philanthropy and each year donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to nonprofit organizations.
Tulalip’s 22,000-acre reservation was reserved by the Treaty of Point Elliott in January, 1855. Its boundaries were established by the treaty and by an executive order singed by President Ulysses S. Grant on December 23, 1873. The reservation was created to provide a permanent home for the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Suiattle, Samish and Stillaguamish Tribes and allied bands living in the region.
The tribes’ population is around 4,000 and growing, according to its website. Around 2,500 citizens live on the reservation.
Tulalip Tribes has around 3,200 employees; more than two-thirds work in the tribes’ business enterprise, including Tulalip Casino/Resort/Bingo, Leasing, Tulalip Broadband, Tulalip Marina, Tulalip Liquor & Smoke Shop and the Quil Ceda Village Business Park.