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Ivan Small Testifies to
the Senate Committee
on Indian Affairs

 

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Washington, DC – The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing today on Indian Education Oversight.  Among those who testified was Ivan Small, President of the National Indian Impacted Schools Association (NIISA).  Mr. Small joined Ryan Wilson of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) in advocating for issues important for schools that serve Indian children.

Mr. Small, who represents over 120,000 school children, highlighted several issues that have hindered efforts to reform Indian education.  Among these factors are:

 

A.) the mistaken belief that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) serves a large proportion of Indian children (in fact, about 7% of Indian children are educated in BIA schools);

B.) the debilitating effects of generational poverty, geographical isolation, and a multitude of other community problems on fostering a stable learning environment and recruiting quality teachers;

C.) the movement of Indian children between BIA schools and public schools with no formal partnership or cooperation plan;

D.) the deteriorating condition of Indian school facilities and lack of resources with which to alleviate the problem; and

E.) the changing demographics of schools receiving Impact Aid and its potential affect on the allocation of resources.

 

 You may read Mr. Small’s testimony or you may watch the video of the hearing at http://indian.senate.gov/public/_files/hrg052506.ram


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