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approved $18,768,000 requested add-on in light of the serious funding situation in higher education; and
Be it further resolved, that the National Congress of American Indians abhors and rejects the criteria used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in it's ignoring of the Indian community's documented need for increased higher education funds.
RESOLUTION No. NCAI-74–48 FUNDING AND DEPUTY COMMISSIONER FOR INDIAN EDUCATION ACT
Whereas, Congress passed the Indian Education Act of 1972 and in doing so acknowledged the utter failure of the United States Government's previous Indian Education Programs; and
Whereas, Indian people then had hope for the first time that their children would have a fair chance to improve their lot through education; and
Whereas, Congress authorized $300 million per year to fund the Act in an attempt to correct the wrongs of the past and close the gap between the Indian and non-Indian in this country and in addition directed the Commissioner of Education to insure Indian direction in the Indian education which position has not been filled to date (more than two years after passage of the Act); and Whereas, immediately thereafter the President impounded all funds appropriated by Congress to implement the Act thereby making a lawsuit necessary to force release of the funds, which lawsuit was successful; and
Whereas, many tribes and Indian communities have not yet received any funding or other tangible benefits from the Act even though it is now in its third year; and
Whereas, Congress will be soon considering the extent of funding for the Act for fiscal year 1976;
Now therefore be it resolved, that the National Congress of American Indians hereby request Congress to appropriate at least $105 million dollars to implement the intent of the Indian Education Act during Fiscal Year 1976, which amount is only 35% of the full funding as authorized by Congress in 1972 and that the commissioner of education immediately appoint a deputy commissioner of Indian education so that the true spirit intent and hope of the Indian Education Act of 1972 may be realized for all Indian people.
RESOLUTION No. NCAI-74-51-BIA EDUCATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
Whereas, the Bureau of Indian Affairs in fulfilling its Congressionally mandated responsibility to provide educational services to the American Indian tribes and Nations does not now have adequate advice and input from those they serve; and
Whereas, the BIA Education Advisory Council appointed several years ago does not appear to be functioning;
Now therefore be it resolved, that the National Congress of American Indians supports the selection and installation of a BIA Education Advisory Council by processes established by the regulations of the Indian Education Act of 1972, P.L. 92-318;
Be it further resolved, that the BIA Commissioner mandate the education branch Central Office and field staff to be representative to the advice of the Education Advisory Council.
Ms. MCKEAG. On January 4, 1975, President Ford signed the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Public Law 93-638. NCAI was instrumental in the development of that legislation and has continually supported the concepts and provisions as set forth in that
The implications that the act holds for the future of Indian people are crucial in terms of actualization of the philosophy of self-determination, especially in the areas of Indian education.
The 1974 amendment to the Johnson-O'Malley Act advocates the viewpoint by authorizing and sanctioning the participation of Indian parent education committees in the design and approval of JohnsonO'Malley programs.
However, this philosophy must be reinforced and the substance of the 1974 amendments maintained by the Public Law 638 title II reg lations to fully insure the implementation of this important piece of legislation in Indian education.
The self-determination act contains tremendous potential oppor tunities for the Indian community. Yet, how has the BIA education division commenced the enormous preparations necessary to meet the demands outlined in the act?
The BIA education division received $226,495,000 in funding for fiscal year 1975-76, approximately one-third of the total budget f the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Obviously Congress has recognized the importance of providing a meaningful education system for Ameri Indians by allocating this percentage of funding during the past?
Why, then, did the alarming statistics concerning the illiteracy and dropout rates of Indian students seem to increase as, money spent in Indian education also increased?
ironically, the Why did the BIA find it necessary to turn back $3 million in title I alone last year, vital Office of Education moneys which provi services to disadvantaged children, when teachers of Indian students cannot conduct a classroom adequately, simply for want of supplies! What steps must be taken to secure quality educational standards for Indian students?
In any bureaucratic system, educational or otherwise, there are basi expectations which must be met in order for that system to efficient serve its constituency. Goals and priorities should be established standard procedure and policy formulated, systematic planning main tained, and communication sustained so that the structure is basical operative.
Over the past 3 years, BIA education has been outstandingly de ficient in any of the basic criteria mentioned above. It is unfortunat that my testimony must address such general areas of concern, but base problems in the structure and organization of the BIA education division must be resolved before the more specific issues may be cor
Two recent instances may be cited as symptomatic of this perpetual state of BIA chaos. The rationale behind the decentralization of the
central office of the education division of Albuquerque remains a
How does this move facilitate the much needed cooperation an
coordination between BIA education and the Washington, D.C., based
U.S. Office of Indian Education.
In a system which is inherently complex in its organizational stra ture anyway, this move served only to enhance confusion on the part of Indian people and inefficiency on the part of the BIA in serving the educational needs of Indians, as well as adding to administration costs and further depriving Indian children of a sufficient education The distribution formula for Johnson-O'Malley funds, those money Indian children, is another enigma. This controversy is so ancient that the original regulations may be found in the form of Navajo rock
The present formula, which was devised in response to the 1974 amendment in an attempt to equate the moneys spent, drastically cuts funding in several States affecting planning and programs.
Typically, the policy for awarding JOM moneys was never standardized according to specific criteria other than per pupil cost expenditure based on State education expenditures. The number of Indian students served in each BIA area, absurdly enough, has not been a factor in making this determination.
Furthermore, the States are very often the parties responsible for receiving and for the administration of these programs. Title II of Public Law 638 mandates an analysis of the distribution and application of these special education funds, taking into consideration the myriad complex factors such as the actual need for basic support by the States, pro rata requirements, et cetera.
NCAI requests support of the definitive study of JOM currently in process under the auspices of NIEA, acting as an independent contractor, so that tribes will finally have a consistent, predictable procedure through which to implement their education programs.
Finally, NCAI recommends that the subcommittee review the overall organization of the BIA education division. How is that agency structured to deal efficiently with the specialized areas of educational programs and problems confronting a minority group as unique and diverse as the American Indian community?
These basic organizational issues should also be analyzed in relation to the efforts that have been made by the BIA to determine exactly what the educational needs and desires of Indian people are and if and when this assessment has been made, their accessibility and willingness to work cooperatively with Indian people to provide those services requested.
NCAI recommends that, in conducting its investigation, the subcommittee review the mechanism within this division for approaching specialized aspects of education. Are these offices amply equipped to deal solely with areas of critical concern such as early childhood, curriculum development, teacher training, bilingual education, emotionally disturbed children, gifted children, et cetera.
In April of 1975, Commissioner Thompson signed the charter for the Institute of American Indian Arts authorizing that institution of higher education to seek accreditation as a junior college.
NCAI applauds this action but feels that a special division for higher education, located in the Washington office, should be created which will be responsible for the three BIA junior colleges, the institute, Haskell, and Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute, and the particular focus overall that American Indian higher education should take. The joint council of regents of those institutions have been advocating the creation of this special division for the past 5 years, meeting only opposition within the BIA.
Reservation boarding schools, days schools, and off-reservation day schools represent another issue which warrants closer examination. Although potentially an avenue for educational innovation and emphasis on the goals of the Indian community, these schools have degenerated into grey institutions offering little in programs to motivate their students.
These schools have, moreover, become dropoff centers for Inda students with emotional problems who often shuttle between schools because no attempt is made to keep track of their activities. Ther condition becomes only aggravated in this worthless environment. Gentlemen, your trip to Alaska will give you the opportunity to investigate, in particular, the situation of these students. Many of these Indian students reside in foster homes, homes that have been selected indiscriminately, following no criteria or set standards exp that the families will be subsidized for their cooperation.
Does this attitude reflect a sensitive approach to Indian students and their problems?
Finally, in looking toward implementation of Public Law 638, how does the present contracting or grant award procedure assist the efforts of tribes who wish to develop their own programs in education! For that matter, what is the policy and criteria established to ordinate these efforts?
NCAI requests that the subcommittee conduct a management study of the BIA education office with an emphasis on the Albuquerque office. especially in light of the obligations set forth in Public Law 638.
Furthermore, we request that the subcommittee issue a directive creating a task force of Indian educators and BIA education staf which would work together for a specified period of time to insure that comprehensive planning and restructuring of BIA education takes place and that Public Law 638 is enacted as fully intended.
It is important as Public Law 638 moves forward, to begin immedi ately developing a specialized planning effort for education within the tribal structure. That vital piece of legislation must not become another victim of BIA in-house incompetency.
Mr. MEEDS. You mentioned $3 million which were not spent title I, was this money received by the BIA under title I for programs in Indian schools, BIA-controlled schools?
Ms. MCKEAG. It was received as part of title I funds.
Mr. MEEDS. How much was the total?
Ms. MCKEAG. That was in the Commissioner's testimony yesterday. I don't know the exact figure.
Mr. MEEDS. Have you received any kind of explanation for the failure to spend this money in Federal programs?
Ms. MCKEAG. None that I know of.
Mr. MEEDS. Would you send a letter to the Commissioner, and tell him that this has been brought up and get an explanation? Who is next?
STATEMENT OF NOAH ALLEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INDIAN EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Mr. ALLEN. My name is Noah Allen. I am executive director of the National Indian Education Association. I am a member of the Euchee Tribe of Oklahoma, and I will not take the time to explain the purposes of NIEA. It is in my testimony.
Mr. MEEDS. Without objection, your prepared statement will be made part of the record at this point.
[Prepared statement follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF NOAH ALLEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INDIAN EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Gentlemen: Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you again. The last time I had this honor I made some effort to appeal to your emotions. I wanted to move you to action in the search for solutions to age old problems in Indian education. Today, I present issues as they are, in hope that you can see, hear, and feel the problems as Indian people live them, and will assist us in finding solutions to them.
My name is Noah Allen, I am a member of the Euchee tribe of Oklahoma. I presently serve as Executive Director of the National Indian Education Association. I am proud to say that I have an earned doctors degree from the University of Oregon in education administration.
The National Indian Education Association is an organization five years old, and is composed of over 1,000 paid members who are working in Indian Education. The membership is made up of Indian and non-Indians. It is governed by a board of directors, composed of 30 Indian Educators elected by the membership. It is a nonprofit corporation supported by membership dues, foundation grants, indirect costs of federal contracts, and income generated by registration fees of its annual convention.
The objectives of the National Indian Education Association are:
1. Provide an annual meeting place (Convention) where people involved in Indian Education can meet and share solutions to common problems. The 1974 Convention, held in Phoenix, Arizona attracted over 5,000 participants. 2. Serve in an advocacy role for Indian Education.
3. Provide technical assistance to Indian Educational programs.
4. To do research in Indian Education.
5. To serve as a Curriculum clearing house for Indian programs.
I will address most of my remarks to the BIA division of education, since that is my specific assignment in this testimony. I feel I qualify to make some evaluative remarks in this area, since I attended BIA boarding school from grade seven through high school. Since I had nine brothers and sisters attend BIA schools, as well as three daughters. Moreover, I have served as teacher and administrator in BIA schools for over five years.
I believe a task force or committee of Indian leaders should be organized to study and recommend ways to improve the service of the Bureau's division of education. The following questions, among others should be looked at: (1) Should Central Office be in Washington, or Washington and Albuquerque, (2) Should boarding school, boards of education be advisory only or policy making, (3) Should the Bureau's post-secondary schools have a coordinator at the Central Office level and be funded as a line item in the Central Office's budget, using per-pupil costs of educating college students. (4) Is there not a way to improve the present system of getting financial assistance into the hands of higher education and employment assistance students, (5) Should teachers be hired and fired at the local level and on the same basis as public school teachers, (6) Should text books, equipment, and supplies be purchased on bids at the local level and not necessarily through GSA, (7) Is there not a way that the Bureau's postsecondary schools can be contracted by their board of regents, (8) Should the Bureau not tool-up (hire staff) to implement PL 93-638 immediately, (9) Is there not a way that fiscal responsibility and accountability can be improved so millions of dollars will not be returned to the treasury each year by the Bureau, (10) Should the Bureau of Indian Affairs represent the interest of Indian people and not the bureaucracy, (11) Should the BIA be providing more assistance in Early Childhood Education, (12) Should the BIA make more effort to train, recruit, hire, and promote Indian teachers for Indian students, (13) Should criteria be improved or in fact be determined, for selecting foster homes for Indian children.
The 13 items mentioned are items of extreme importance, but they are mentioned only as representative of many issues that need to be studied in order to improve the boarding schools ability to help Indian young people.
I should like to also recommend three other things that will help improve Indian Education: (1) Increase Title IV funding considerably, perhaps to 80 million immediately, (2) Provide money to train Parent Advisory Committees at all levels and, (3) Appropriate money immediately to train Tribal organizations to handle the responsibilities of Contracting their own services under PL