Navajo Nation sues health agency over funding cut

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 11:21 AM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation has sued the federal government, saying it denied the tribe an opportunity to appeal a 32 percent cut to Head Start funding.

The lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services is in federal court in Washington, D.C.

The tribe generally receives about $23 million annually for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, based on enrollment numbers.

But the Health and Human Services Department says the tribe’s enrollment numbers don’t justify the higher amount. It first notified the tribe in September that funding would be cut to under $16 million. The agency declined comment on the lawsuit.

The tribe alleges funding cannot be reduced without reasonable notice and a full hearing. The lawsuit filed last week seeks a judge’s order declaring the agency’s action unlawful.