Webinar on BIE Reorganization

Tue, Oct 13, 2015 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM MDT

Join NCAI and the Bureau of Indian Education to hear the latest information pertaining to the BIE reorganization efforts. This webinar will be an opportunity for tribal leaders, educators, and other stakeholders to hear about the goals of the BIE reorganization and how the proposed plan for realignment (letter to Representative Calvert attached) will improve the delivery of educational services to Native students consistent with the Blueprint for Reform.

Denise Desiderio, Policy Director – NCAI (Introduction)
Charles (Monty) Roessel, Director – Bureau of Indian Education
Don Yu, Chief Schools Transformation Officer

Register here.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Sues Interior over Bureau of Indian Education Reorganization

From Turtle Talk, here.  An excerpt:

Here is the complaint in Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v. Jewell (D. S.D.):

1 Complaint

An excerpt:

Plaintiff, an Indian Tribe operating under grants from or contracts with the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Public Laws 93-638 and 100-297, as amended), and upon whose reservation the Defendant directly operates a BIE-run school, seeks a permanent injunction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 65, a Writ of Mandamus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1361 and 1362, and Declaratory Relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201 et seq., and an Order to enforce compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement and Stipulated Final Judgment entered by this Court in Yankton Sioux Tribe, et al. v. Kempthorne, et al, #4:06-cv-04091-KES (DSD) to enjoin Defendants from proceeding with their announced plan to restructure the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education (hereinafter “BIE”), and its subsidiary offices and staff in a manner that will reduce and/or eliminate its legal obligations to Indian Tribes, Tribal Schools, and ultimately to the individual Tribal member students of those schools, including the Plaintiff, under the United States Constitution, treaties with the various Indian tribes, federal statutes, regulations, or policies, in a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion given to the Executive Branch to carry out the United States Congress’ legislative mandates, and/or violation of federal law or regulation.

Reform plan urges billions for Bureau of Indian Education schools

From Indianz.com, here, and EdWeek’s article is here.

From Indianz: The American Indian Education Study Group is calling for billions of dollars in school construction and improvement projects in Indian Country.

According to the Bronner report, the Bureau of Indian Education needs $1.3 billion to replace or fix problems at the 68 highest-risk schools. Another $967M is needed to reduce the existing repair and maintenance backlog.

“Of the 183 BIE schools, 34 percent (63 schools) are in poor condition, and 27 percent are over 40 years old,” the Study Group said in its Blueprint for Reform. “These substandard conditions are not conducive to educational achievement, and they unfairly restrict learning opportunities for students.”

The BIE used to maintain a school construction priority list that determined which projects were included in the budget request submitted to Congress. The list, however, hasn’t been updated since 2004.

Congress, meanwhile, became reluctant to fund school construction activities, citing concerns about costs and management. But some lawmakers say it’s time to re-start the process.

“Nearly two-thirds of BIE schools are in fair to poor condition and yet there has been no strategic planning since 2004,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said in press release. “If the BIE doesn’t plan for the future we can never pull Indian Country out of poverty.”