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PART A, NON-LEA, TITLE IV, INDIAN EDUCATION ACT, PUBLIC LAW 92-318; CATALOG NO. 13.551, FISCAL YEAR 1975
Chinle Valley School for Exceptional Chil-
Grant award No.
Grantee name and address
Coeur D'Alene Indian Tribal School, De
Pretty Eagle School Board, P.O. Box 138,
School District No. 50, Blaine County, Hays,
Duckwater Tribal Education Committee,
Dibe Yazhi Habitiin Olta, Inc., P.O. Box 21, Community based billingual education:
San Diego Elementary School, P.O. Box 66, Individualized instruction in language
Ojibwa Indian School, P.O. Box A-3,
Institute of the Southern Plains, Inc., P.O.
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Stephan, S. Dak...
Sicangu Oyate Ho, Inc., St. Francis Indian
Colville Confederated Tribes, P.O. Box 150,
Menominee County Education Committee,
Dr. DEMMERT. Yes; in general the 10-percent set-aside moneys are added to basic support moneys, either from the Bureau of Indian Affairs through their contracting efforts, or through other private or foundation moneys the school might be getting.
In a few instances, maybe one or two, we fund the school fully, like Duck Water, Nev. We fund schools in Arizona, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
When we talk about basic support, we talk about running the whole program. Where we talk about supplementary support, we are usually talking about bringing money in for developing bicultural education, where you would be using the money for retention of the native language as opposed to using the money for learning English, as title VII might be doing.
Mr. PRESSLER. Do you have any other examples of programs or specific activities that this 10 percent is used for?
Dr. DEMMERT. It is used for compensatory education problems, guidance counseling, teacher aides, I have mentioned the culture awareness kinds of efforts. In some cases, they are used for startup costs; when you have a new school starting, there are a lot of costs that are not there once the school is in operation for a while.
In addition to that, I am not sure. I think that this covers just about everything that the public schools would want to use the money for, except maybe hiring more teachers, and the moneys can be used for that.
Mr. PRESSLER. Thank you very much.
Mr. MEEDS. I would like also to get into some of the specifics of the Indian Education Act. Part A provides much on an impact aid type formula grant funds for local education agencies to develop and carry out elementary and secondary school programs specifically designed to meet the special education needs of Indian pupils.
(1) What is the average grant under part A; and (2) describe some of the kinds of programs, and not the 10-percent set-aside, particularly, which Mr. Pressler already asked you about. Just describe generally to us some of the kinds of programs that you are financing and funding under part A.
Dr. DEMMERT. The average grant in 1974 was $27,881, but I think that this needs to be clarified just a little bit.
Mr. MEEDS. All right, do so.
Dr. DEMMERT. In some cases we have grants for as large as $1 million, and $600,000, $700,000, and $800,000.
Mr. MEEDS. Where did you have a $1 million grant?
Dr. DEMMERT. The unorganized school system in Alaska, most of those schools are out in the rural areas. I understand that you will be visiting some of those in the next month, or in the next few days, maybe.
Mr. MEEDS. So you dealt with the unorganized districts as a unit? Dr. DEMMERT. Yes; they were considered one school district in the State of Alaska.
Then we had places like Gallup, N. Mex., that had $700,000. Then we had a few grants around $600 and $700. When you take that wide range, you come down to about $27,881 average.
Mr. MEEDS. What are some of the programs? Describe some for me.
Dr. DEMMERT. All right, let me see if I can.
For the most part, they would be similar to the kinds of programs that I described for the 10-percent set-aside, but let me get into something more specific. For example, in Juneau, Alaska, one program with which I am very familiar, in part because it is in my own State, and because I was a program manager for part A, they came in for a lot of technical asistance. They have started the Tlinget language program simply because in the Tlinget community the younger generation has not retained the language.
In part this is due to the fact that the school system does not teach it. In the Juneau public school district, they have attempted doing that. They have moved not only from teaching the Tlinget language to many of the youngsters, but they have moved into other cultural kinds of activities that are still important, the arts, the stories, the legends, jewelrymaking, and those kinds of things.
One of the major efforts is to not superficially reflect the Tlinget culture, but to help the school legitimately reflect the culture of the kids that attend and that participate in the educational programs of the school.
In Rocky Ridge, Mont., we have a major curriculum development effort where they are publishing or designing school materials in two languages. On one page you will have Cree and on the other side you have the English version.
Mr. MEEDS. Is that under part A?
Dr. DEMMERT. In part, it should be under part A, yes.
Mr. MEEDS. Probably part B.
Dr. DEMMERT. We can do that under part B as well. The difference is that the money that goes into part A goes to public schools, and the money that goes into part B, for the most part, goes directly to Indian tribes and organizations. So there is a basic difference in thrust. In one case you are talking about giving the established system an opportunity to begin doing things that many of the members of Indian communities felt they needed to be doing. In the other case, you are giving the Indian community an opportunity to do these kinds of things themselves.
Mr. MEEDS. You have been Deputy Commissioner for almost a year now. What do you perceive to be the major special educational needs of Indian pupils?
Dr. DEMMERT. I have been Deputy Commissioner for about 6 months, but I wish to point out that I have been involved in Indian education directly for a long period of time.
In general, I think that one of the first things that we need to look at are parent-based early childhood programs where we must establish a good base upon which to build. During an earlier period of time, the Indian community played a major role and put a major priority on teaching educational skills that were important to living in the world as they found it.
It was a much different world than we find today, granted, but still we are talking about education and we are talking about learning skills that enable one to provide a living and play a meaningful role in the community.
With the coming of the European, that role began to change. We had a more formalized kind of school system development. As a result
many members of the Indian community and Indian tribes in general began removing themselves from that process and that process began later and later in one's life.
In general, we gave up that responsibility to church schools, Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, and public schools. The problem is, as I understand it from experts of educational theory, that much of one's learning potential is established by the time one is age three. By this age, a child has a cultural language, emotional, physical, and intellectual base upon which to build.
In my judgment, we need to work with the very young to properly establish that base and start building on it. Once this happens, and even during contemporary times where we have not necessarily estab lished a base that is consistent with the formal education process that many are thrust into, we need to provide certain knds of programs that reinforce one's cultural identity.
I firmly believe that without that we run into too many problems that we have trouble dealing with, as young adults or as older adults, and in part, possibly, help to contribute to the large dropout rate that we have.
Mr. MEEDS. What percentage, roughly, of the programs under part A are this kind of program?
Dr. DEMMERT. Under part A we are limited to funding programs in the States that are publicly supported. The law authorizes us to provide support to programs lower than kindergarten. But there are no States that I know of, except maybe Alaska, that will or does have these preschool kinds of programs that are publicly supported.
Under part B of the law, we are planning on putting at least $4 million of 1976 money into parent-based early childhood programs. At the present time, I would estimate that we have approximately $2 million in that part. I will have to check that.
Mr. MEEDS. Let us go back to part A. It is your feeling that you cannot finance under part A early childhood programs?
Dr. DEMMERT. We can, but they have to be through the public school system, and be a part of that system. There are no States that go lower than kindergarten right now, except, as I pointed out, that in direct communication with the commission of education in Alaska, they told me that they were planning on doing that.
Mr. MEEDS. Do you suppose that we might make an improvement in the Indian Education Act by making part A funds available to tribes or other organizations for early childhood programs?
Dr. DEMMERT. You are talking about a formula basis?
Dr. DEMMERT. I could give a personal opinion at this point. We would have to look into that and see what an official recommendation would be.
Mr. MEEDS. Are the funds expended under part A spent only for the benefit of Indian children, or are they melded into the total school program, and in some instances used in such a way as to not be solely and directly for the benefit of Indian children? How do you monitor and find out what is happening?
Dr. DEMMERT. Theoretically, the money under part A is to be used exclusively for the special educational needs of Indian students. Now we allow some expenditures outside of that, when the parent committee tells us that the inclusion of non-Indian students meets