In Context

Approximately 85,758 students attend 268 schools on the Navajo Nation reservation. The vast majority of students attend public schools, while approximately 18 percent attend schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

Consequently, the Navajo Nation has a strong interest in the federal budget as it relates to Native education funding. In March 2012, Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly testified before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, urging Congress to forward-fund the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) higher education program as it does for other BIE programs, such as K-12 schools and tribal colleges. Additionally, he asked Congress to support a building study to determine the facility needs of two tribal colleges--Diné College and the Navajo Technical College.

In Up Heartbreak Hill, the principal of Navajo Pine High School states that the operations budget of Navajo Pine High School is $13,000. There are approximately 19 faculty and staff members and approximately 200 students. The 12th grade has the lowest number of students, reflecting the high dropout rates described in the film.

Caption:Tamara and Thomas in class at Navajo Pine High School.
Credit: Anthony Thosh Collins (Pima/Osage/Seneca-Cayuga)

» National Johnson O'Malley Association.
» Navajo Nation Economic Development "Educational Facilities on the Navajo Nation."
» Navajo Nation Washington Office.
» Navajo Pine High School.
» Schooltree. "Navajo Pine High School."