Indian Education in the Public School System Needs More Direction from the Congress

HRD-76-172: Published: Mar 14, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 1977.

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A review of special Indian education focused on projects carried out by grantees, local community involvement, and the quality of program administration. Under funding authorized by the Indian Education Act of 1972, about $141 million was spent by grantees for special projects to meet Indian children's needs in elementary and secondary schools.

Several problems were noted in carrying out programs. Local educational agencies did not use uniform methods and criteria to identify Indian children served. The definition "Indian" is too general in legislation and regulations to allow for eligibility determination. Special educational needs of Indian children were not adequately defined or assessed and thus funds were used for various projects according to local interpretations. Also, program goals were not established and some grantees did not evaluate project effectiveness. Participation by Indian parents was not always active, partly because of lack of guidance from local educational agencies. Program administration by the Office of Indian Education needs improvement.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should modify legislation to clearly define eligible Indian children and their needs. The Commissioner of Education should: (1) establish clear goals and means to measure effectiveness of Indian education; (2) require annual project evaluation; (3) improve technical assistance to grantees; (4) clarify parent committee responsibility; and (5) require improved information systems for resolving grantee problems.


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