The National Congress of American Indians
TITLE: Support Amending Government Performance and Results Act Measures Utilized By the Office of Indian Education
WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, through its unique relationship with Indian nations and tribes, the federal government has established programs and resources to meet the educational needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives residing on and off their reserved or non-reserved homelands; and
WHEREAS, the fundamental trust, treaty, and statutory obligations of the United States remain unfulfilled and Native students continue to suffer from great inadequacies and inequities in aspects of their education, such as strengthening their linguistic and cultural education; and
WHEREAS, in order to uphold the trust responsibility to Native education, Title VII of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act allows for supplemental grants to ensure programs serving American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children are of the highest quality and provide for not only the basic elementary and secondary educational needs, but also the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of Native children; and
WHEREAS, Title VII programs create a much needed Native presence in school districts through Native Parent committees; and
WHEREAS, Title VII programs provide services to Native students which impact attendance and help keep them in schools; and
WHEREAS, the Office of Indian Education (OIE) in the Department of Education is responsible for administering Title VII funds and services to local education agencies and tribes to meet the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of Native students; and
WHEREAS, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the executive branch developed various means for measuring the effectiveness of programs funded by the United States Congress by requiring programs to be evaluated using the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA); and
WHEREAS, under GPRA, OIE utilizes systems that measure academic achievement rates as the benchmark for programmatic success under Title VII; and
WHEREAS, the GPRA measurement system does not include measures that would enable Title VII programs to report on their efforts to meet the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of Native students.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI recommends that OIE provides ample opportunity for meaningful consultation with all pertinent constituency groups prior to any Department of Education action regarding changes to forms used or the adoption or implementation of new regulations that will affect such groups; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI will work with OIE, OMB and pertinent stakeholders to ensure the GPRA measurements utilized by OIE to monitor the impact of Title VII include measures that would enable Title VII programs to report on their efforts to meet the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of Native students; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2014 Mid-Year Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Dena'ina Civic & Convention Center, June 8-11, 2014 in Anchorage, Alaska, with a quorum present.