May 25, 2006
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.
Small, who represents over 120,000 school
children, highlighted several issues that
have hindered efforts to reform Indian education.
Among these factors are:
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);
the debilitating effects of generational
poverty, geographical isolation, and a multitude
of other community problems on fostering
a stable learning environment and recruiting
the movement of Indian children between
BIA schools and public schools with no formal
partnership or cooperation plan;
the deteriorating condition of Indian school
facilities and lack of resources with which
to alleviate the problem; and
the changing demographics of schools receiving
Impact Aid and its potential affect on the
allocation of resources.
may read Mr. Small’s testimony or you may
watch the video of the hearing at http://indian.senate.gov/public/_files/hrg052506.ram