Native Village Youth and Education News

April 1, 2009 Issue 196 Volume 2

NIEA Meets with Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
NIEA Press Release
Condensed by Native Village

Washington, D.C. - Lillian Sparks, Executive Director of the National Indian Education Association, recently met with Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education. Also joining them were members from the Campaign for High School Equity. They met to discuss equity in learning, graduation rates, and making high schools and communities of color a budget priority.

Ms. Sparks strongest concerns focused on rural and Indian Education issues, Native high school student graduation rates, community partnering, and implementing the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).  CHSE also addressed important educational issues.

During his campaign, President Obama expressed strong support for tribes. He has since established a Cabinet-level position to address tribal issues. Ms. Sparks said her meeting with Secretary Duncan shows the importance President Obama places on education reform to benefit all children.

 "We understand that now is the time to start rejuvenating the effort to reform education," Sparks said.  "NIEA and CHSE would like to see ongoing, long-term partnering with communities across the country, especially Native communities and communities of color, throughout the implementation of the ARRA and other policy development.

Sparks is especially concerned with how the ARRA is implemented, where is it going, and how AIEA and CHSE can be involved. "Taking advantage of the Administration’s openness and willingness to listen allows groups like NIEA and CHSE to be fully involved in education reform,” she said.  

Duncan expressed interest in visiting Indian country and understanding the educational issues affecting Native Students. He also said funds from the Recovery act will be strictly accounted for and monitored by the Department of Education.

Read the Press Release:


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