NCAI Newsletter (education)

Advancing Native Education Legislation in the 113th Congress

 The 113th Congress provides a key opportunity to strengthen Native education through the legislative proposals tribes have been working on for years. In preparation for advocacy on this critical priority, NCAI issued a call for feedback in February 2013 on a draft Indian education bill. Together with the National Indian Education Association, NCAI has revised the proposal to incorporate input received from tribal leaders and Native educators. Please see below for the revised bill and a matrix of the comments received by both NCAI and NIEA.

 ·         Click here for a summary of the revised legislative proposal.

·         Click here to read the full text of the revised legislative proposal.

·         Click here to view a matrix of comments received by NCAI and NIEA.

 Background:  The draft language comes from NCAI's initial proposal for the Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools (CLASS) Act, which addresses the joint NCAI/NIEA education priorities outlined in NCAI Resolution #ABQ-10-054 and NIEA Resolution 11-002. Although the Native CLASS Act (S. 1262) passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in October 2012, it did not clear the entire Congress. The proposed law would address many of the systemic problems in Native education, including strengthening tribal participation in education, supporting the revitalization of Native languages, and encouraging collaboration between tribes, states, and school districts.

Next Steps:  In partnership with NIEA, the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly, and the United South and Eastern Tribes, NCAI is working with Congress to introduce a comprehensive Indian education measure that is similar to the Native CLASS Act. Our organizations will use the revised draft proposal in our advocacy on this issue as we move forward. Please feel free to utilize this information when you advocate to your congressional representatives.

 For more information, please contact Terra Branson, Legislative Associate, at