Here. A quote:

School districts would get some relief from the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration under an agreement announced Tuesday by a bipartisan pair of House and Senate negotiators.

The plan would roll back most of the so-called sequester cuts for the next two years, leaving the door open for federal lawmakers to boost spending on disadvantaged children and students in special education. UPDATE: The agreement passed the U.S. House of Representatives 332-94 on Thursday and now will need Senate approval.

From Turtle Talk:

Melina Angelos Healey has published “The School-to-Prison Pipeline Tragedy on Montana’s American Indian Reservations” in the NYU Review of Law & Social Change.

Here is the description:

American Indian  adolescents in Montana are caught in a school-to-prison pipeline. They are plagued with low academic achievement, high dropout, suspension and expulsion rates, and disproportionate contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.  This phenomenon has been well documented in poor, minority communities throughout the country. But it has received little attention with respect to the American Indian population in Montana, for whom the problem is particularly acute. Indeed, the pipeline is uniquely disturbing for American Indian youth in Montana because this same population has been affected by another heartbreaking and related trend: alarming levels of adolescent suicides and self-harm.

The statistical evidence and tragic stories recounted in this report demonstrate beyond doubt that American Indian children on the reservations and elsewhere in Montana are moving into the school-to-prison pipeline at an alarming and tragic rate. The suicides of so many children is cause for despair, and the complicity of the education system in those deaths, whether through deliberate actions or through inattention, is cause for serious self-reflection and remediation. This article has been written in the hope that the people of Montana, government officials at all levels, teachers and school administrators, and public interest lawyers will have some of the information they need to take action. Despair, prison, and untimely death should not and need not be the ending places of public education for our most vulnerable children.

From NCAI:

On December 10, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that they reached a budget agreement, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, that would cover FY 2014 and FY 2015 and includes a partial reduction of sequestration cuts. The budget conference committee is responsible for developing a budget plan by December 13. Without an agreement before the current continuing resolution runs out in January, federal agencies would face another government shutdown. The House and Senate passed their respective FY 2014 budget resolutions in March, but with vastly different top level amounts for discretionary funding.

On October 17, the President signed legislation that avoided a dangerous default. Under the terms of the deal, the government was funded through January 15, 2014, and the debt limit was extended until February 7, 2014. The law directed negotiators to develop a budget framework by December 13, which would give Congress a month to finish FY 2014 spending bills before government funding authority ends and new sequester cuts take effect on January 15.

A majority of tribal trust and treaty promises are funded in the domestic discretionary budget. In FY 2014, non-defense discretionary funding will be nearly 18 percent below FY 2010 levels adjusted only for inflation as a result of cuts made in the FY 2011 appropriations process and the Budget Control Act, including sequestration. Tribes have urged the budget conference committee to replace the sequester and avoid cutting even more deeply from key domestic investments, which include the solemn duty to fund the trust responsibility. The budget agreement partially replaces sequestration.

The Budget Agreement

The plan would still require Congress to lower spending to billions below pre-sequester levels, but it will allow House and Senate appropriators to try to finish FY 2014 appropriations. The budget deal sets an overall discretionary spending limit of about $1.012 trillion for fiscal year 2014, $45 billion more than the FY 2014 sequestration spending cap level of $967 billion. The $1.012 trillion number set by the Ryan-Murray deal is about halfway between the Senate budget level of $1.058 trillion and the House budget level of $967 billion. The Murray-Ryan level is still $54 billion less than the original pre-sequester limit of $1.066 trillion agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The deal would replace less than half of the total sequestration cuts in FY 2014 and a much smaller share in FY 2015.

Resources on the agreement


The rule for debate cleared the House Thursday afternoon, which sets up a Thursday evening vote in the House. The bill (HJ Res 59) is expected to clear the chamber with a mix of votes from both parties. The Senate will consider the bill next week and President Obama is expected to sign the bill.

Once the votes on the budget deal occur, House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Chairman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) are expected to meet quickly to start dividing the $1.012 trillion among the 12 annual appropriations bills.  It is likely that some spending bills will be packaged in an omnibus that would include some individual bills and funding for remaining programs through a continuing resolution.

Appropriations Advocacy

Last week, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association, the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and the National Indian Health Board, wrote the members of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services-Education to remind them of the direct and profound impact that many accounts have on American Indian/Alaska Native people. The letters requested that in any effort crafting final FY 2014 appropriations bills, they should restore the resources to important tribal governmental programs and trust and treaty obligations in their bills.

NCAI urges tribal leaders and advocates to contact their respective Congressional delegations as well as members of the appropriations subcommittees with similar messages: that in any effort crafting final FY 2014 appropriations bills, Congress should restore the resources to important tribal governmental programs and trust and treaty obligations in their bills.

 NCAI Contact Information: Amber Ebarb, Budget & Policy Analyst –

Here.  From Native News Online:

Assistant Secretary Kevin K. Washburn today announced that he has named Dr. Charles M. “Monty” Roessel as Director of the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).  Roessel, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, had served as the acting director since February 2012.

 The announcement came today as Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Assistant Secretary Washburn and Director Roessell were in Laguna, New Mexico to tour a Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) tribally controlled grant school located on the Pueblo of Laguna reservation.