As you are probably aware, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee introduced their draft discussion language for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) last week. As the single best opportunity for comprehensively including tribes and their education agencies within federal education law, it is critical that we coordinate our advocacy efforts around the ESEA reauthorization.

Here are TEDNA’s priorities with an excerpt:

The following is a list of the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly’s (“TEDNA”) top education priorities:

  1. Authorize state and tribal co-governance agreements to strengthen tribal participation in education;
  2. Establish the “Tribal Education Agency Project” to provide for the authorization of Indian tribes to be eligible to operate title programs;
  3. Make Indian tribes the preferred eligible entity in rural areas on or near Indian reservations to receive NCLB, Title VII, Indian Education Formula Grants, and authorize Indian tribes to be eligible for technical assistance to develop such grant applications;
  4. Retain the tribal education department appropriation authorizations; and
  5. Provide Indian tribes access to tribal member student data by amending FERPA.

TEDNA also joins and supports NIEA’s priorities, which we posted on here.

Next Steps:

1.) Send a letter to your Senators and the Senate HELP Committee asking them to support TEDNA and NIEA’s priorities, including the Tribal Education Agency Project.

2.) Provide ESEA Comments to Senate HELP Committee by Monday, February 2, 2015 at: FixingNCLB@help.senate.gov. Comments will be shared with all members of the Senate HELP Committee.

Should you need a model letter, please contact Matt Campbell at mcampbell@narf.org or Clint Bowers, NIEA Policy Associate, at cbowers@niea.org.

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