The National Advisory Council on Indian Education have scheduled a teleconference meetng for September 25, 2015. The notice was published in the September 14 Federal Register located here: The purpose of the meeting is to convene the Council to conduct the following business: (1) Final discussion, review and approval of the annual report to Congress; and, (2) Discuss schedule to submit recommendations to the Secretary of Education on funding and administration of programs. The Council is established within the Department of Education to advise the Secretary of Education on the funding and administration (including the development of regulations, and administrative policies and practices) of any program over which the Secretary has jurisdiction and includes Indian children or adults as participants or programs that may benefit Indian children or adults, including any program established under Title VII, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Council submits to the Congress a report on the activities of the Council that includes recommendations the Council considers appropriate for the improvement of Federal education programs that include Indian children or adults as participants or that may benefit Indian children or adults, and recommendations concerning the funding of any such program. The NACIE teleconference meeting will be held via conference call on September 25, 2015—2:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time. Up to 20 dial-in, listen only phone lines will be made available to the public on a first come, first served basis. The conference call number is 1–800–857–9682 and the participant code is 5273162. See the Federal Register for details.
(September 15, 2015)

New FERPA Bill in House – the Student Privacy Protection Act

The Student Privacy Protection Act can be seen here, and the Senate’s version that dropped earlier this year is here.  Regrettably, there is no amendment for Tribes or Tribal Education Departments.  The amendment passed a few years ago that permits disclosure of student records to a tribal organization that has the right to access a student’s case plan when the tribe is the guardian of the student is still in the bill, however.

Amending FERPA to allow TEAs and TEDs to have access to our student’s records has been a top priority for some time. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) should be amended to authorize Indian tribes, consistent with local education agencies (“LEA”) and state education agencies (“SEA”), to receive the academic records of tribal member students from schools and LEAs without advance parental consent. Indian tribes can use this data to create data-driven education programs to improve AI/AN student achievement.

As Quinton Roman Nose noted to the House Education & Workforce Committee earlier this year,  “[t]he difficulty of accessing — or the inability to access — these records on tribal students has hampered the efforts of TEAs to plan and coordinate education programs; to provide support services and technical assistance to schools; and to work with LEAs and SEAs. FERPA should be clarified by a technical amendment that includes TEAs.”

NCAI’s resolution on this issue is here.  NIEA’s resolution on this is here.

From NCAI’s resolution:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI does hereby support legal, political, and fiscal equity for tribal governments in this critical area of access to student records and information kept by the state public schools, and to achieve that equity, NCAI asks the Executive (Administration) and the Legislative (Congress) branches of the United States government to (1) clarify the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act such that it acknowledges that tribal governments are among the governments for whom advance parental or student consent is not required to access these records and information and (2) request and / or appropriate sufficient federal funding to ensure that tribal governments can invest as much at least proportionately as states and their public school districts are investing in the needed technology to track and report on tribal students.

Dr. Sherry Johnson on the Impact Aid Consultation

I was on the Tribal Consultation webinar and my take on it was: There are no plans to change the Impact Aid law itself but merely the wording within the guidelines. We need to push for stronger clearer language within the law itself. What were minimum requirements of past no longer meet today’s needs for Indian children and there parents. We need to stand together and push for changes. Stronger verbage for the IPP requirements, definitions and clarifications of Assessments, reporting, equal participation and more. I will be writing a formal statement in regards to the Tribal Consultation.

Dr. Sherry Johnson is the Tribal Education Director for the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, which is a member of TEDNA.

If you missed it, here are the documents from the consultation: Impact Aid Consultation PPT and the Impact Aid Regulations.  There is another consultation scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, July 28th at 2:30pm EST

There is limited space, so please register.

To register:

1) Visit

2) In the header menu, click on Training Center, then the Upcoming tab.

3) Select the session you would like to attend and click the registration link on the right hand side of the page. The registration password is Consult16.

4) Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to the Webex session, as well as instructions for how to dial in to the proceedings.


NIEA Call for Action to Support Native Education


Native students need your support! Below is a brief summary of two amendments that need support to pass. Please call your Senators today and urge them to support each.

If you have any questions, please contact NIEA’s Federal Policy Associate, Dimple Patel at

Study of Native Language Immersion Schools Amendment (#2240):
This amendment offered by Senators Schatz (D-HI), Murkowski (R-AK), and Daines (R-MT) will provide a study to evaluate all levels of education being provided primarily through the medium of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian languages and to require a report of the findings.

While the cognitive benefits of bilingual education are well-known, this study will help to understand how native language medium education can help students develop a more positive identity, build leadership skills, gain greater resiliency, and acquire tools needed to overcome sociocultural challenges. Finally, the study will assess the role of Native American language medium schools in preserving, protecting and revitalizing indigenous languages; and, in addressing deep rooted educational disparities confronted by Native communities.

Accountability Amendment (#2241):

This amendment offered by Senators Murphy (D-CT), Warren (D-MA), Coons (D-DE), and Durbin (D-IL) calls for strengthened accountability so that none of our students, including Native youth, fall through the cracks.

Reasons this amendments is important to Native schools:
-BIE schools have an average graduation rate of 53% compared to the national average of 81%;
-Native students continually perform academically behind their peers – scoring below the national average on reading and math;
-95% of Native students attend public schools and states must be accountability to our tribes for their academic performance.


Reach out to your state’s Senator and ask them to support these important and necessary amendments for Native education.

To find the contact information for your Senator, please click the link below.

To call the general phone line for the Senate, please call (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with the Senator from your state.