Cherokee Nation Distributes Record $7.9M to 107 School Districts

Cherokee Nation school district check

TULSA, OK – Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. informed more than 100 public school educators that renewal of the tribal-state car tag compact this year is critical to ensuring millions of dollars continue to flow to school districts, law enforcement and infrastructure throughout Northeast Oklahoma in the coming years.

Chief Hoskin’s remarks came as the Cherokee Nation distributed a record $7.9 million to 107 school districts as part of the tribe’s annual Public School Appreciation Day initiative. This year’s disbursement brings the total funds awarded to school districts to $92 million since the tribe began funneling the car tag revenue to schools through its motor vehicle compact with the state.

The Cherokee Nation allocates 38 percent of its annual car tag revenue directly to education, aside from the millions of dollars the tribe provides to the State of Oklahoma for education funding each year through gaming.

“For over two decades, the Cherokee Nation has demonstrated our unwavering commitment to public education in Oklahoma through our unique motor vehicle tag compact with the state,” said Chief Hoskin. “Since then, we have distributed more than $92 million directly to public school districts, providing vital discretionary funds that support teacher salaries, classroom technology, and other critical needs. That funding is in jeopardy if the state does not renew the car tag compact this year. Tribal-state compacting benefits everyone, and that’s why we are asking the state legislature to step in and help renew the compact if the governor refuses to do so. Our car tag compact with the State of Oklahoma is good for schools, good for students, good for teachers and good for communities across the state. We firmly believe that investing in education, including through the sale of tribal car tags, is one of the most important things we can do to build strong communities and ensure a brighter future for the next generation. That’s why renewal of the Cherokee Nation tag compact is so critical.”

Cherokee Nation operates its own tag agency, issuing its own titles and registrations as part of the compact. A significant portion of revenue collected is allocated to more than 100 school districts each year through the compact, benefiting all students in each district that receives funding.

The tribe also allocates portions of the revenue for law enforcement, water and road infrastructure, cell towers and other investments within the tribe’s reservation.

“The Cherokee Nation understands that investing in education today builds a stronger foundation for the future leaders of our tribe and communities,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “By directly allocating a portion of our car tag revenue to local schools, we can have a positive impact on the classroom experiences of students, as well as their teachers.”

Each school district makes the decision on how to use the funding provided by the Cherokee Nation. In past years, schools have used the funds to cover teacher salaries, upgrade facilities, support operations, expand technology and bolster school programs.

School leaders from across Northeast Oklahoma gathered at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a luncheon and received this year’s annual distribution from the Cherokee Nation.

“The tremendous support from our Cherokee Nation citizens and the tireless work of our Tax Commission staff helped make this record $7.9 million contribution possible,” said Sharon Swepston, Administrator of the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission. “Each year, we are proud that the tax revenues we collect can directly fund educational opportunities that will leave a positive, lasting impact on students across Northeast Oklahoma.”

Funding totals by county include the following:

  • Adair – $613,161.95
  • Cherokee – $1,021,167.29
  • Craig – $178,488.10
  • Delaware – $586,220.35
  • Mayes – $604,983.25
  • Muskogee – $785,155.20
  • Ottawa – $122,199.40
  • Nowata – $102,714.85
  • Rogers – $843,608.85
  • Sequoyah – $689,175.75
  • Tulsa – $1,729,554.50
  • Wagoner – $279,759.65
  • Washington – $353,608.50