S. 2468: Safe Academic Facilities and Environments for Tribal Youth (SAFETY) Act

Senator Tester (MT), ranking member on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and Sen. Cantwell (WA) introduced a bill on January 27, 2016 specifically geared to address the abysmal conditions of schools run on reservations. The bill would require the Bureau of Indian Education and the Office of Management and Budget to develop a 10 year plan to address the condition of BIE schools. It puts into place a demonstration program that would allow tribes to help accelerate the construction of BIE facilities. The bill also addresses other schools on reservations, including tribal colleges and Impact Aid schools – which are public schools that have limited tax income since most reservation residents are exempt from state tax.

For all three types of rural schools, the bill authorizes housing assistance for teachers to help fill vacancies and increase teacher retention. It also requests separate comprehensive government reports on both BIE and public Impact Aid schools to better understand and assess the needs, best practices, and next steps for renovating reservation-based schools

For more information, click here.

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 http://educate.webex.com

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.

 

Impact Aid Tribal Consultation

The Impact Aid Program is considering whether to propose changes to its regulations at 34 CFR Part 222. The Department of Education (ED) is seeking input on whether there should be changes made to the regulations governing Indian Policies and Procedures, and if so, what changes should be made. ED is offering to online consultation sessions:

  • Wednesday, July 15th at 2:30pm EST
  • Tuesday, July 28th at 2:30pm EST

There is limited space, so please register.

To register:

1) Visit http://educate.webex.com

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.