Education | Politics

Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee education hearing






The Senate Indian Affairs Committee continued its series on Indian education this afternoon.

This hearing focused on the Bureau of Indian Education. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) asked about teacher vacancies but Charles “Monty” Roessel, the director of the agency, wasn't able to provide exact numbers.

However, when pressed, Roessel estimated that about 15 percent to 20 percent of teacher positions are currently unfilled.

In contrast, the vacancy rate for the Department of Defense Education Activity, which oversees schools on military bases, was far lower. Thomas Brady, the director of the agency, said it was 7.5 percent at the beginning of the school year and 1.5 percent during the school year.

President Bryan Brewer of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, indicated that schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation suffered from a far worse vacancy rate than the BIA's estimate. Currently, about 40 percent of positions are unfilled, he said.

The hearing lasted about an hour and 25 minutes. Audio can be found on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud.

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on "Indian Education Series: Ensuring the Bureau of Indian Education has the Tools Necessary to Improve" (May 21, 2014)

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