indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Revised executive order promotes Indian education
Monday, May 3, 2004

An executive order designed to apply the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act to the education of Indian children was signed by President Bush on Friday.

Tribal leaders, educators, members of Congress and a group of Indian students attended the afternoon ceremony at the White House. The event was accompanied by the naming of a new 15-member National Advisory Council on Indian Education earlier in the day.

"It's going to improve the lives of our American Indian children and Alaska Native children," Bush said of the effort. "It is an important part of making sure we have a hopeful future."

Tribal leaders praised the order, which they said respects tribal sovereignty, language and culture while carrying out the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act. The law promotes accountability, flexibility, parental choice and research.

"This executive order is reflective of the kind of commitment that is needed to address the needs and unique challenges educators and schools face in Indian Country," said attendee Joe Garcia of San Juan Pueblo, the first vice president of the National Congress of American Indians.

"Through this executive order, the administration has reaffirmed the federal government's commitment to provide a meaningful and appropriate education to the nation's first people, showing us that no Native child should be left behind," added Cindy La Marr, president of the National Indian Education Association, who also attended.

Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who did not attend the ceremony, welcomed the policy but said the administration must do more to increase resources and funding for Indian students. "Words don't pay teachers salaries or replace crumbling school buildings," he said.

The order seeks to coordinate efforts between the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Education and other federal agencies. It creates a working group -- to be headed by Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Education Secretary Rod Paige -- that will develop strategies to implement the order. The group will exist for five years.

The order also directs Paige to conduct a "multi-year study of American Indian and Alaska Native education" to report on the progress of the order and the No Child Left Behind Act. The study will provide the latest data and research on Indian students, whose standardized test scores are lower than their peers.

The new order replaces one that was signed during the Clinton administration in 1998. Bush administration officials, at the NCAI annual conference in November 2002, said they planned to breath new life into the policy.

Officials hoped to finalize the order last fall but were hindered by bureaucratic shuffles at the BIA, which underwent an reorganization that affected the agency's Office of Indian Education Programs. The Office of Indian Education, which was elevated by Paige last summer, took the lead in developing the new language.

The order comes amid growing concern by tribal leaders for Indian education funding. The Bush administration, in fiscal year 2005, has cut $79 million in education programs, from scholarships to construction of new facilities. Funding at the Education Department is staying the same.

In fiscal year 2006, the BIA budget will take another hit. The exact figures aren't known but the agency will see a nearly six percent decrease if Bush's plans go forward.

"Native students, under very difficult circumstances, do amazingly well," said Mavany Verdugo, president of the National Indian Head Start Directors Association. "However, they do not have the same opportunities and resources as other students." Verdugo attended Friday's ceremony.

Keller George, president of the United South and Eastern Tribes, welcomed the level of tribal and federal cooperation envisioned under the order. "Tragically, Native students are not living up to their potential," said George, who was present at the signing. "This executive order will help focus and direct the resources of the federal government with regard to Indian education."

According to government statistics, nearly 500,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students attend public schools. About 48,000 attend the 185 schools within the BIA system.

Get the Order:
American Indian and Alaska Native Education (April 30, 2004)

Signing Ceremony:
Video | Audio

Relevant Links:
National Indian Education Association - http://www.niea.org
Office of Indian Education Programs, BIA - http://www.oiep.bia.edu
Indian School Report Cards, BIA - http://www.oiep.bia.edu/school_report_cards.htm

Related Stories:
Tribal leaders press for budget consultation policy (04/15)
Tribal leaders hope to counteract Bush budget cuts (04/13)
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)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Obama hosts his final White House Tribal Nations Conference (9/27)
Judge urges tribal coordination on complaint in #NoDAPL case (9/27)
More tribes settle trust fund lawsuits as Obama era nears end (9/27)
Memorandum of understanding for treaty rights in the works (9/27)
White House: Indigenous voices in the Obama administration (9/27)
President Obama praises Comanche Nation woman in speech (9/27)
Lakota Country Times: Clinic for Native veterans shut down (9/27)
Native Sun News Today: Statue brings community together (9/27)
Delphine Red Shirt: Start the healing process for our people (9/27)
Editorial: Newspapers shouldn't be beholden to government (9/27)
Albert Bender: Spill confirms fears on Dakota Access Pipeline (9/27)
Sierra Club: More review needed for Dakota Access Pipeline (9/27)
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation releases casino expansion study (9/27)
Remarks by Obama at White House Tribal Nations Conference (9/26)
President Obama signs bill to promote Native tourism into law (9/26)
Lakota Country Times: #NoDAPL lands before United Nations (9/26)
Native Sun News Today: Rosebud Sioux group celebrates win (9/26)
Clara Caufield: Look around because Indians are everywhere (9/26)
Rodney Butler/Kevin Brown: Tribes committed to new casino (9/26)
Gyasi Ross: Obama's legacy on the line with Dakota pipeline (9/26)
Steven Newcomb: Statue on Kumeyaay territory based on lie (9/26)
Peter d'Errico: Book encourages return to a 'tribal' way of life (9/26)
Review: 'Inspiring' documentary about Elouise Cobell's battle (9/26)
More California tribes welcome labor unions at gaming facilities (9/26)
Ho-Chunk Nation starts work on major casino expansion project (9/26)
Obama administration asks tribes about infrastructure projects (9/23)
House passes measure to combat illegal sale of tribal property (9/23)
Mike Rounds: Righting historical wrongs against Native citizens (9/23)
Indian Health Service names new medical officer in Great Plains (9/23)
Interior Department finalizes rule for Native Hawaiian relations (9/23)
Native Sun News Today: Democrat accepts invitation to debate (9/23)
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.