Cherokee Nation contributes more than $3 million annually to area public schools. The money comes from the sale of Cherokee Nation car tags to tribal citizens. Last year, Vinita Public Schools received more than $60,000 that can be used to support the needs of the school system.
“We live in a community in which more than 72 percent of our students qualify for free or reduced school lunches,” said Kelly Grimmett, superintendent of Vinita Public Schools. “When needs arise, we reach out to our business community to help us out. The tag money from Cherokee Nation takes care of some of those needs so we do not have to burden our business community as often.”