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House Republicans Attempt to Dismantle Vital Education Funding to Indian Country

July 18, 2013
Press Release

For Immediate Release:  July 18, 2013                                         
Contact:  Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149

Washington, DC – This week, House Republicans announced their intention to bring to the floor a highly partisan bill that deconstructs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (H.R. 5).  The deeply-flawed H.R. 5 undermines our national commitment to equity in education by consolidating federal funds currently designated for special populations.   If H.R. 5 is enacted, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native students would be greatly harmed by the GOP proposal to dissolve their dedicated funding and the associated educational initiatives that exist under Title VII of the current reauthorization.

As the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) is joining Congressman Don Young (R-AK), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) in supporting an amendment to restore funding for students throughout Indian Country.  This amendment is supported by the National Indian Education Association, the National Congress of American Indians, the United South and Eastern Tribes, the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly, the Native Hawaiian Education Council, and the Alaska Federation of Natives support this amendment.

Congresswoman McCollum issued the following statement:

“I object in the strongest terms to this abandonment of our federal trust responsibility to Native American youth.   Students throughout Indian Country are already bearing the brunt of sequestration’s cuts to education.  Now this partisan bill would strip away the guaranteed funding and the crucial academic and cultural supports that Native students need.  I commend Mr. Young, Ms. Gabbard, and Ms. Hanabusa for advancing this amendment to restore and improve the Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education Title.”

Congresswoman Betty McCollum is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and is Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.