OTTAWA - A new report suggests the Harper government is shortchanging native schools while cutting the number of new ones that get built.

The parliamentary budget officer says Indian Affairs built an average of 35 schools a year on reserves under the Liberals.

Eight new schools have been finished since the Conservatives took power in 2006.

Another 10 new schools have been announced but the report says there's no clear criteria to justify where they will be built.

The report says Indian Affairs is underfunding schools by at least $169 million a year, and less than half are listed in good condition.

It suggests funding for native schools be a separate source of cash that can't be raided by the department for other needs.

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