Tribal Education Departments National Assembly
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs recently introduced, S.1262 the Native Class Act, an Indian education bill that dramatically increases tribal sovereignty over elementary and secondary education, including that provided by public schools on or near tribal territories. NARF testified in support of the Act during the first hearing held on the Act in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in late July, 2011. The Act includes several provisions that TEDNA had advocated for, including an authorization for a tribal education agency pilot project, cooperative education agreements between tribes and states, increased roles for tribal governments in public schools, increased funding for tribal education agencies and other Indian education programs. In addition, TEDNA was successful in securing a provision for the first time ever in the House Interior and Environment Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriation Bill directing $2 million to tribal education agencies. The recent Senate FY 2012 Appropriations Bill would provide $1 million to tribal education agencies through the Department of Education. We will continue to work with TEDNA as these appropriations bills proceed.