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The problem is that we do not have the data. We do not have the statistical information to say that in 1971, prior to this program, this is how many graduates we had, and now after 16 years of the program in 1989, this is how many we have. That information is just not available. We are encouraged that the Secretary of Education is moving on a data base.
One thing that I think should happen at the Office of Indian Education to make their programs even more effective would be an emphasis on teacher training. Our tribal colleges issues session in Alaska brought that point up. It has been mentioned here. We indeed have a shortage of teachers.
With other dollars available to go to medical school or to law school or whatever, a lot of bright students are going into those fields rather than going into teaching. We need an emphasis on getting Indian and Alaskan Native teachers to provide educational services and to serve as role models for Indian students. I think that an emphasis in the Office of Indian Education would help that area as well as the overall effectiveness of the program.
The CHAIRMAN. When you speak of a shortage of teachers, is it an overall shortage or do you find that there are many Indian teachers who are teaching in non-Indian schools?
Ms. Hunt. I think there is an overall shortage. Almost everywhere I go someone is saying, "We need teachers; we are looking for an Indian teacher for this particular program, and there are none available." So it is an overall shortage.
Arizona State University is where Dr. Tippeconnic is working. I believe that he worked on some sort of study that was showing that now we have a smaller percentage of Indian teachers than ever before in recent times. Other programs are available and people are going into those areas with no emphasis on teacher training.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any thoughts on the effectiveness of our program, Ms. Bahe?
Ms. BAHE. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I have been very fortunate to be selected to help in drafting the memorandum of understanding between the Department of Interior and the Department of Education.
We were involved in 2 or 3 days of very intensive review of the agreement. We had called the committee of practitioners together, which is like a task force, and I was a member of that task force. We drafted some very good recommendations.
When it got back to the Department level, there were some things that were totally eliminated and most of the recommendations were not accepted. Then I began to see some of the problems that affect the local schools and affect people like us from the field.
There is no effective coordination from the Department of Education to the Department of Interior. You have two departments that deal with Indian education programs. I feel that if there was a strong, effective coordination between these two departments, some problems could be eliminated. It could have been more effective if these two departments could work closely together. That is all I ask of the committee.
There are some good programs in both departments, successful programs. We still need some other programs to deal with the teacher shortage, student achievement, and there are many, many problems that still exist at the local level. Those problems need to be addressed, and these two departments need to work very closely together with more local input.
The CHAIRMAN. Ms. Funk. Ms. FUNK. One part of the Indian Education Act that I hear a lot of good things about is the adult education portion component. It is not a very large program, but the Indian Adult Education Association did pick several of the programs and analyze them in terms of people successfully completing a GED because of that program, getting a job, their income, and various other indices of what had happened to them.
They picked a program in Boston and several others that were very divergent, and they really found stunning examples of people's ability in completing the program, getting GEDs, and getting jobs. Within a couple months, I think the average income rise was $5,000.
There are all kinds of things that can open up to you if have a high school diploma versus if you do not. The adult education portion of the title V program used to be funded on a 3-year staggered basis. Then they were changed to 2 years, and that really created a problem.
For Native people or for any person who is learning to read and write and at the same time trying to get a high school diploma or a GED, 2 years just was not long enough. People would come to the end of the 2-year program and not have yet completed their GED.
We do appreciate the assistance of Neal Shedd and whoever else was responsible for changing that around this year. They just very recently put the Adult Education Programs back on a 3-year staggered basis. That is one portion of the program that really deserves some more support.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bordeaux.
Mr. BORDEAUX. In answer to your question on effectiveness, I believe it was in 1984, which was 10 years after St. Francis operated title IV programs through the whole period, we submitted testimony to one of the subcommittees on education and labor outlining all of the programs that we got funded under title IV, part A and part B, and what types of programs these things did. If those types of things were done in other areas, it would show a high rate of effectiveness in regard to providing programs for specific services.
We were able to start programs in business occupations. We were able to start vocational education. At that time, in the early seventies, we were even able to start some basic supplemental programs in language arts and supplemental programs in physical education. We did not have a program at all for the students at that time because it was prior to ISEP, so we had to come in every year to ask Congress for dollars instead of going through a formula.
There were a lot of other programs that were available that we applied for and started initially under title IV, and then eventually, took over under the regular program. In regard to the question on teacher shortages and those things I am in the process of completing an evaluation for a couple of community colleges in regard to teacher education programs. At the elementary level, especially in South Dakota, those colleges are doing a lot in regard to preparing Indian teachers.
There is indeed a shortage of Indian teachers at the secondary level. I think that if you look at most of the Indian schools, maybe 25 percent of the secondary teachers are Indian with 75 percent being non-Indians. The reverse is probably true at the elementary level.
For administrators, a lot of times the teachers will come in and work for 2 or 3 years and they might be good teachers, but they see that opportunity to move up, so they go into the principalship or some other administrative field. You might lose a good teacher, but you are going to hopefully gain a good administrator. But as long as I can remember, that shortage has always been there.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank all of you. All of you have been unanimous in your concern over the vacancy of the directorship.
The Navajo have submitted a recommendation. Where did you submit your recommendation, to the President? Who received your recommendation? You mentioned a person earlier that you recommended for the directorship.
Ms. BAHE. That is Dr. John Tippeconnic.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you convey your thoughts to any person other than this committee?
Ms. BAHE. This is the first time.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you write to the President of the United States?
Ms. BAHE. Yes.
Ms. HUNT. I can share the three names. I have discussed with Assistant Secretary Bonner and have promised him that we would not share the name that he told me went forward from the Secretary to OPM, but the three names that the Council submitted to the Secretary--they were rank ordered-were Dr. John Tippeconnic, Mrs. Lucille Dawson, and Mr. Purnell Sweat.
The Council interviewed six people and these were the three names that went forward, and in that order of recommendation, top to bottom. It was a top choice and first and second alternate.
One last thing, Mr. Chairman. You had asked me a question about the people in the position of Director of the Office of Indian Education over the past few years.
I have a chart that provides that information for the last 10 years. There is other statistical information, the best that we could pull together from available data on the status of Indian education. That is in our annual report.
I would like to submit this copy for the use of the committee until such time as they are printed. They are at the printer right now.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you all again. We appreciate this and if we may, we would like to submit questions to you in writing for your consideration.
May I now call upon the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education, the Honorable Dan Bonner. Secretary Bonner will be accompanied by Mr. A. Neal Shedd, the Acting Director of the Office of Indian Education and Mr. Thomas Corwin, Director of the Office of Planning, Budget and Evaluation.
STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL F. BONNER, ACTING ASSISTANT
SECRETARY, FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, WASHINGTON, DC, ACCOMPANIED BY A. NEAL SHEDD, ACTING DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF INDIAN EDUCATION; THOMAS CORWIN, DIRECTOR, ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY, AND VOCATIONAL ANALYSIS DIVISION, OFFICE OF PLANNING, BUDGET AND EVALUATION Mr. BONNER. Mr. Chairman, if it is all right with you, I would like to be allowed to read my prepared remarks, which are relatively brief.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. BONNER. Mr. Chairman, I am happy to be here today on behalf of Secretary Cavazos to discuss matters pertaining to programs in the Office of Indian Education as well as other programs that benefit Indians and are administered elsewhere in the Department of Education.
In your letters to Secretary Cavazos requesting this hearing, you listed several issues that you wished to discuss. I will address each of those issues in turn.
The Office of Indian Education administers a wide array of programs authorized by the Indian Education Act of 1988. These programs currently receive a combined appropriation of $71.4 million. The bulk of the funds, about $52 million, is distributed by formula primarily to public school districts, but also to tribally-operated and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools.
The amount of funds going to each district or Indian school is based on the number of Indian children enrolled. These funds are used to supplement the regular school program by providing educational services designed to meet particular needs of the Indian children. Local projects are characterized by an especially high level of parental involvement.
Your letter of October 4 raised a concern about the timing of the 1989 formula grant awards. It is true that awards were made later than usual this year. The cause of the delay was related to reauthorization of the program, including the newly authorized eligibility of BIA-operated schools.
However, notification letters were mailed to all grantees by August 11th. Further, to ensure that there would be no lapse in services from one fiscal year's grant to the next, the Department authorized grantees to expend funds for appropriate pre-award costs.
For school districts with special problems, we faxed copies of grant award letters confirming this authorization. All fiscal year 1989 funds were obligated by the Department before September 30, 1989. Now that the Department has implemented the provisions of the 1988 reauthorization, this delay should not recur.
In addition to the formula grant program, the Indian Education Act authorizes several competitive grant programs. The $18 million for these programs are provided primarily to tribes, Indian educational organizations, and colleges and universities. They support such activities as early childhood programs, dropout prevention, adult education, technical assistance to grantees, training of Indian teachers and school administrators, and fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students.
Your letter of October 4 also questioned the timing of the fellowship awards. The statute governing this program requires the Secretary to provide written notification to fellowship recipients no later than 45 days prior to the beginning of the academic term. The Department complied with this requirement. The actual obligation of funds could not take place until after July 19 because regulations implementing the newly reauthorized program were not final until that date. This was due in part to the delayed effective date provisions of the General Education Provisions Act.
In addition to the programs authorized by the Indian Education Act, the Department of Education administers many other programs that provide educational services to Indians. Indian students participate in most of these programs on the same basis as the rest of the population—that is to the extent that they meet eligibility criteria related to educational need.
The programs are generally targeted to public schools and include, for example, the chapter 2 block grant, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grant program, education for homeless children and youth, bilingual education, magnet schools, migrant education, the chapter 1 LEA grant program, many of the special education programs for the handicapped, and a host of small discretionary programs.
In addition, several of the Department's programs contain setasides of funds specifically for Indians-usually those attending Bureau of Indian Affairs 'schools. In accordance with your request, we are providing the committee with detailed descriptions of these programs, including budgetary and organizational information.
These include vocational education, compensatory education programs authorized by chapter 1, mathematics and science education, library programs, drug-free schools and communities, Education of the Handicapped Act, Part B, and programs for handicapped infants and toddlers. In addition, many public schools enrolling Indian students receive funding from the Impact Aid program.
In March of this year, the Office of Indian Education began a new coordination effort by holding a 2-day conference to share information among OIE staff, coordinators or directors of State Indian Education programs, managers of set-aside programs for Indians, and directors of the Indian Education Regional Resource Centers. Because the office is newly authorized to coordinate the development of policies and practices for all Department programs serving Indians, we have created a new staff position to aid coordination of policy development among those programs.
Additionally, staff of OIE are working with an informal interagency committee to conduct a policy review of each agency's Indian programs, and they also have membership on the White House_Task Force on Indian Affairs, which meets monthly. The Task Force is chaired by Mary McClure, Special Assistant to the President for Indian Affairs.