indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Indian Law Online Master Degree
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
New Mexico tribes fight BIA's education reorganization
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More tribes are joining the fight against the reorganization of education programs at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

A federal judge has already stopped the Bush administration from making changes at BIA schools in South Dakota and North Dakota. Four tribes and seven schools filed a lawsuit after learning that some of the education offices on their reservations would be closed and that some reservation-based employees would be fired or relocated.

Now, the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico are hoping to replicate the case. They filed a lawsuit two weeks ago, citing a lack of meaningful consultation about the effect of the reorganization on 15 educational institutions, including the Santa Fe Indian School, an urban boarding school.

"Under federal law, consultation is not a one-way presentation of unilateral decisions," the August 17 filing states.

Funding is at the heart of the tribal lawsuits. The BIA budget has largely stayed the same since the start of the Bush administration despite heavier demands placed on schools under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

So when the reorganization initiative was first announced back in 2003, there were immediate questions about resources. "Tribal officials and representatives were told that the funds for any reorganization would be sought from Congress," the Pueblos stated in their lawsuit.

But tribes now know that the administration is taking $1.5 million from the Indian School Equalization Program to pay for the bureaucratic reshuffle. ISEP is used to help at-risk Indian students, the types who might be underperforming under No Child Left Behind standards.

Additionally, the administration wants to take $2.5 million from the Early Childhood Development Program to pay for the reorganization. Former Interior Secretary Gale Norton had praised the program in a visit to New Mexico back in May 2002.

In both instances, the Pueblos say they learned of the shift in funds only after the Plains tribes filed their lawsuit in May. As a result, some Pueblo school programs have already been cut, according to the court filing.

The BIA budget does call for $2.5 million in new funds, but the 19 Pueblos say the money will be used for administrative positions and not to improve the education of Indian students.

Along with the funding cuts, the BIA already started the reorganization in early August, just a few weeks before the start of the school year. The tribes say Tom Dowd, a member of the Hopi Tribe from Arizona, had promised not to make any changes until August 16, the day before the lawsuit was filed.

Nedra Darling, a spokesperson for the BIA, didn't have specific information about the implementation of the reorganization in New Mexico. But she said the agency is complying with the preliminary injunction in South Dakota and North Dakota.

"They are closely following the judge's orders," she said of BIA officials in the Plains.

The reorganization has been questioned by several key members of Congress "I'm a little bit perplexed when I hear that what we need to fix this system is more senior executive management staffing," said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, at a hearing in May.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, which represents the eight Pueblos north of Santa Fe, and the All Indian Pueblos Council, which represents all 19 Pueblos in the state. Joe Garcia, the president of the National Congress of American Indians, serves as chairman of ENIPC.

Plains Court Decision:
Yankton Sioux Tribe v. Kempthorne (July 14, 2006)

Senate Hearing Documents/Info:
Oversight Hearing on Indian Education (May 25, 2006)

Relevant Links:
Office of Indian Education Programs, BIA - http://www.oiep.bia.edu
Office of Indian Education Programs Human Resources Services - http://www.oiephr.bia.edu

Related Stories:
Judge halts costly BIA education plan in Dakotas (07/18)
Bush administration's education plans questioned (05/30)
Witness List: Oversight hearing on Indian education (5/25)
Great Plains tribes, schools sue BIA over reorganization (5/25)
Native student test scores lag rest of nation (5/24)
Tribes oppose education reorganization at BIA (02/17)
Bush budget comes under fire at hearing (2/15)
Bush budget details Indian program cuts (2/10)
BIA budget suffers cut for yet another year (2/7)
BIA, state agree on No Child Left Behind standards (10/5)
BIA to hold consultation sessions on education (08/26)
Bush administration blasted on Indian education (06/17)
Senate oversight hearing on Indian education (6/17)
Senate bill restores funding for Indian programs (06/09)
Tribes struggle to find funds to fix crumbling schools (06/09)
Bill calls for tribal consultation on BIA budget (05/31)
Indian educator: More classwork, less culture (05/27)
BIA publishes final No Child Left Behind regulations (04/28)
School construction fared poorly on White House test (02/14)
Indian education funds reduced by Bush budget (2/10)
New Bush administration budget slashes programs (2/7)
Complaints prompt probe into BIA education (06/17)
Report finds BIA misused school emergency funds (05/12)
Tribes tackle budget woes under Bush administration (4/14)
Audit finds school construction problems at BIA (04/12)
Report finds lax safety measures at BIA schools (04/08)
Budget resolution barely clears House vote (03/26)
Tribal leaders denounce BIA budget plans as reckless (03/24)
BIA education programs taking $79 million hit (3/23)
Indian educators meet for legislative summit (3/22)
Cuts run deep for tribal programs at BIA (03/09)
Navajo leader gives BIA a 'D' for school funding (03/04)
BIA to publish replacement school construction list (2/26)
Comments sought on No Child Left Behind Act rules (02/26)
Tom Daschle: Leave no Indian child behind (2/25)
Senate panel shares criticism of Bush budget (02/12)
Tribal leaders pressing Congress on funding (02/11)
BIA programs barely survive White House test (02/10)
BIA budget staying the same under Bush request (2/3)
BIA Schools: Are Indian students being left behind? (01/26)
NCAI president uses speech to lobby for funding (01/22)
Bush education official pays visit to N.M. school (01/09)
Report card shows Native students falling behind (06/23)
Paige advancing Indian issues at Ed. Dept. (6/16)
Tribal-federal effort targets Indian education (11/15)
Controversial BIA school proposal dropped (05/16)
Leave no Indian child behind (5/15)
Court to decide limits of trust duty (4/23)
Bush school proposal faces tribal debate (3/19)
McCaleb: Bush helping education (3/7)
Bush proposal strips BIA of education (2/5)
Bush school proposal criticized (2/5)
GAO report finds failing BIA schools (10/29)
Final BIA school goes online (8/24)
Norton, McCaleb to address Indian educators (7/23)
Norton pushes Indian school construction, reform (7/17)
Norton to visit Indian school (7/16)
Norton to visit Indian Country (4/25)
Tribal Schools on Priority List (2/16)

Copyright 2000-2006 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes walk out of contract support cost meeting (8/29)
Steven Newcomb: NFL mascot a symptom of deeper problem in US (8/29)
Energy boom linked to rise in human trafficking in Indian Country (8/29)
Las Vegas Paiute Tribe rejected 'gift' from NFL team's foundation (8/29)
DNA study finds distinct population of Native people in Arctic area (8/29)
Tribes closely watching Big Lagoon Rancheria casino land dispute (8/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation to build off-reservation casino in phases (8/29)
State questions Forest County Powatatomi Tribe's slot machines (8/29)
Quapaw Tribe eyes local support for commercial casino in Kansas (8/29)
Native Sun News: Police officers who shot Indian teen get medals (8/28)
Cara Cowan Watts: Laying the groundwork for college scholarship (8/28)
Rudolph Ryser: Indigenous nations need leverage to bring change (8/28)
DOI extends $100M in Cobell buy-back offers on two reservations (8/28)
Cobell buy-backs could return over 38K acres to tribe in Montana (8/28)
Five-year-old Navajo boy sent home from school for his long hair (8/28)
Three charged with murder for death of Mississippi Choctaw man (8/28)
Lummi Nation seeks cooperation after ruling in treaty rights case (8/28)
Artist Gregg Deal takes on Indian mascots for performance piece (8/28)
Sports announcer won't use Washington NFL team's name on air (8/28)
Recruiter from Spokane Tribe's college selected for Peirone Prize (8/28)
California tribes support release of water to benefit salmon runs (8/28)
Southern Ute Tribe invests $2B in big energy production system (8/28)
County hires lobbying firm to oppose federal recognition reforms (8/28)
Tohono O'odham Nation breaks ground for off-reservation casino (8/28)
Cherokee Nation starts construction on casino at Indian allotment (8/28)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe responds to opponents in casino suit (8/28)
Jamul Band continues work on $360M casino after victory in court (8/28)
Editorial: Forest County Potawatomi Tribe ups ante in casino feud (8/28)
Ho-Chunk Nation launches outreach effort amid casino expansion (8/28)
Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments over gaming initiative (8/28)
Tim Giago: Greedy lawyers and government ruin Cobell settlement (8/27)
Native Sun News: Facility in Montana set to house Indian inmates (8/27)
Gerald Gipp: National strategy needed to reform Indian education (8/27)
9th Circuit won't stop repatriation of Kumeyaay Nation ancestors (8/27)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation puts youth to work for summer (8/27)
Gabe Galanda: Academia won't tackle tribal disenrollment issue (8/27)
Misty Lynn Ellingburg: 'Four Winds' is a literary magazine for us (8/27)
Declination rates for Indian Country crime steady for third year (8/27)
DOJ awards grants to address violence in Bakken energy region (8/27)
Another pipeline spills saltwater on reservation in North Dakota (8/27)
Navajo voters oust incumbent president Ben Shelly in primary (8/27)
Once rival factions of Chukchansi Tribe agree to 2015 election (8/27)
Three brothers on the ballot for Passamaquoddy Tribe election (8/27)
Daily Beast: Border Patrol runs free on Tohono O'odham Nation (8/27)
KTOO: Cook Inlet Tribe turns to video game to represent culture (8/27)
Former IHS information security officer convicted for child porn (8/27)
Crow Reservation murder defendant to make court appearance (8/27)
Texas authorities seek information about skull at Goodwill store (8/27)
Cherokee Nation police find man who disappeared 37 years ago (8/27)
9th Circuit sets oral arguments in Big Lagoon Rancheria dispute (8/27)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe cuts gaming payment to state (8/27)
State raises concerns about Chumash Tribe's casino expansion (8/27)
Cowlitz Tribe sees setback in infrastructure plan for casino site (8/27)
Native Sun News: Tribes take on Air Force over expansion plan (8/26)
Charles Trimble: Pine Ridge -- the Hollywood of Indian Country (8/26)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Iroquois on both sides for War of 1812 (8/26)
Heather Kendall-Miller: GOP candidate a threat to Native rights (8/26)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.