Federal Register Notice on BIA/BIE TED Grants

Here. An excerpt:

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) announces the availability of grants to tribes and their tribal education departments for projects identified at 25 U.S.C. 2020.
This notice invites tribes with BIE funded schools on or near Indian lands
to submit grant proposals.
DATES: Grant proposals must be received by June 15, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The BIE will hold pre application training sessions, see
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for more information.

Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces $2 million in Grants to Build the Capacity of Tribal Education Departments

Here. An excerpt:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 per fiscal year are available for federally recognized tribes and their education departments. The grants are designed to help tribes assume control of Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools in their communities, promote tribal education capacity, and provide academically rigorous and culturally appropriate education to Indian students on their reservations and trust lands.

Eligible tribal governments may apply for these grants by responding to the Request for Proposals that the BIE published on May 15, 2015, in the Federal Register.

“This grant program reflects President Obama’s commitment to tribal self-governance and self determination, and will support tribal educators who best understand the unique needs of their communities as they strengthen their capacity to assume full control of BIE-funded schools on their reservations,” said Secretary Jewell, who chairs the White House Council on Native American Affairs. “It is a critical step in redesigning the BIE from a direct provider of education into an innovative organization that will serve as a capacity-builder and service-provider to tribes with BIE-funded schools.”

“With this announcement, we are taking the next major step in our efforts to return the education of Indian children to their tribes,” Assistant Secretary Washburn said. “We understand that tribal leaders, educators and parents have the greatest need to ensure that their children receive a world-class education, and with this effort, we will see to it that tribes can assume total control over the BIE-funded schools in their communities to improve the educational outcomes for their students. We’re grateful Congress understands the importance of this process and appropriated funding to support this effort.”

Tribal Education Department Pre-Grant Application Training


The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) will provide pre-grant application training at several sites to support interested tribes and tribal education departments (TED) in applying for TED grants. BIE will offer three training sessions, one via webinar and two in person, between May 18, 2015 and June 1, 2015. The dates and locations are listed the table below:

Monday, May 18, 2015 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT) Webinar;

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Local Time)

Bureau of Indian Education

1011 Indian School Road, NW Room 277
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104

Monday, June 1, 2015

9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Local Time)

United Tribes Technical College 3315 University Drive Building 61 Conference Room Bismarck, ND 58504


For more information, please contact Wendy Greyeyes at wendy.greyeyes@bie.edu.

Government Accountability Office (GAO): TESTIMONY Indian Affairs: Further Actions on GAO Recommendations Needed to Address Systemic Management Challenges with Indian Education

The BIE is responsible for providing quality education opportunities to Indian students. It currently oversees 185 schools, serving about 41,000 students on or near Indian reservations. Poor student outcomes raise questions about how well BIE is achieving its mission. In September 2013, GAO reported that BIE student performance has been consistently below that of Indian students in public schools.

This testimony discusses Indian Affairs’ management challenges in improving Indian education, including (1) its administration of schools, (2) staff capacity to address schools’ needs, and 3) accountability for managing school construction and monitoring school spending.

This testimony is based on GAO reports issued in September 2013 and November 2014, as well as GAO’s February 2015 testimony, which presents preliminary results from its ongoing review of BIE school facilities. A full report on school facilities will be issued later this year. GAO reviewed relevant laws and regulations; analyzed agency data; and conducted site visits to schools, which were selected based on their geographic diversity and other factors.

GAO has made several recommendations in its earlier reports; it is not making any new recommendations in this statement.

For more information, contact Melissa Emrey-Arras at (617) 788-0534 or emreyarrasm@gao.gov.

To view the highlights page, the testimony in PDF or to read further on the GAO’s website, click here.

Reminder: Hearing on “Examining the Challenges Facing Native American Schools”

The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education will be having a hearing on April 22, 2015, on “Examining the Challenges Facing Native American Schools.”

The hearing is scheduled at 10:00 a.m. in room 2175 Rayburn H.O.B.

To watch the hearing live, you can utilize this link.

Witness List

Ms. Jill Burcum
Editorial Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mr. Brian Cladoosby
National Congress of American Indians
Embassy of Tribal Nations
Washington, D.C.

Ms. Melissa Emrey-Arras
Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Boston, Massachusetts

Mr. Quinton Roman Nose
Executive Director
Tribal Education Departments National Assembly
Boulder, Colorado

Quinton’s written testimony can be seen here.

Troubled school construction project moves forward

Here, from Indianz.com.  An excerpt:

LAME DEER, Mont. –– If all goes as planned under new approach to a Lame Deer Elementary School expansion project funded by Impact Aid, students at Northern Cheyenne will start next school year in new classrooms, dine in a new cafeteria and their parents will be assured that their children have a modern and safe school. And, in early 2016, more classrooms, administrative offices and a commons area will be completed.

Stalled for nearly a year due to conflicts between the School, prime contractor, and architect, a $15 million Lame Deer Elementary School expansion project is once again moving along.

“There is a little bad news,” said Bill Parker, Superintendent, “but also a lot of good news – the project is well underway again and we are making good progress.”

Lame Deer Public Schools has received about ten million in Federal Impact Aid funds to construct a significant addition to the Elementary School to address overcrowding and update an aging facility. Started in 2013, the project was organized into two phases with the first awarded to DPS Construction, Boyd, Montana and Spectrum Architects, Billings. Scheduled for completion in January 2014 and underway for approximately a year that job included demolition of a portion of the existing school; construction of new classrooms, restrooms, cafeteria and geothermal water wells. Phase 11 will provides additional classrooms, a commons area and administrative offices.

Disputes between the School and the architect and contractor developed. The school was concerned about unmet construction deadlines, quality of construction and project expenditures while contractors wanted more money. As reported in earlier stories, the School Board terminated contracts with both Spectrum Architects and DPS in the fall of 2013. Then, clean-up of major demolition was not completed. However, Parker pointed out that the local Bureau of Indian Affairs completed that work, saving the school $80,000.