Class takes a walk in Standing Bear’s footsteps

Via the Journal Star, here, with a h/t to Indianz.com.  An expert:

NEAR WYMORE — The days must have been hotter, longer than anyone on this pleasant spring morning could begin to imagine.

Ryan Christensen knows he could never fully understand what the Poncas experienced on that long march south to Oklahoma from northeastern Nebraska, so he doesn’t try.

But he’s glad to be walking on this graveled former rail line near the path Chief Standing Bear once traveled.

“It’s more just like an educational experience for me,” the 19-year-old English student said. “It kind of gives you a different perspective.”

Nearly a dozen Peru State College students walked along the Chief Standing Bear Trail south of Wymore on Thursday, a field trip for a class that has spent much of the spring semester learning about Standing Bear’s quest for home and justice.

In 1877, Standing Bear led his people on a forced march to Oklahoma from their home in northeast Nebraska. Later, he would return to Nebraska with some members of his tribe. He was captured by the Army but was allowed to fight for his freedom in court.

Standing Bear’s trial in 1879 led to him becoming the first Native to be legally recognized as a person.

ED Week: Congress Approves Budget Deal That Puts Brakes on Sequestration

Here. An excerpt:

School districts chafing under the across-the-board federal cuts known as sequestrationare about to get  a reprieve: The U.S. Senate gave final approval, on a vote of 64 to 36 Wednesday to a broad budget deal that would ward off the vast majority of the impending cuts to K-12 education spending—and nearly every other federal program—for the next two years.

. . . .

School districts say the fiscal breathing room can’t come soon enough. “At least we’re hopeful now, and we haven’t been hopeful for a while,” said David Pennington, the superintendent of the 5,400-student Ponca City school district in Oklahoma. He said the district—which has a high population of Native American students from a nearby reservation and receives federal Impact Aid to make up for lost tax dollars—was largely able to avoid layoffs last year. But, he said, “we weren’t going to be able to do that going forward.”