Hearing on Native CLASS Act

Advisory: Hearing on Native CLASS ActWed, June 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, will chair a legislative hearing tomorrow on the Native Culture, Language and Access for Success in Schools (Native CLASS) Act (S. 1262).

The purpose of the hearing is to solicit input and recommendations on the Native CLASS Act, introduced by Senator Akaka.  The Native CLASS Act is a comprehensive Native education bill that strengthens language and culture-based education, teacher training and development, and local access and control.  It includes revisions to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, as well as other federal laws, and authorizes several new programs.

“In many regions of our country, Native students suffer from the lowest graduation rates and poorest academic performance,” said Chairman Akaka.  “This comprehensive bill outlines a new vision of education built on Native priorities.  As a former teacher, principal and administrator, I know the power that integrating culture and increasing access to opportunities can have in improving outcomes for our Native students.  To build a successful future for our Native communities, we must start with success in our schools.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tim Johnson (D-North Dakota) and Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii).  Witnesses at the hearing will include officials from the U.S. Department of Education and Bureau of Indian Education, tribal leaders, Native educators and administrators, and representatives from national Native organizations.

Live video will be available at: http://indian.senate.gov


WHO:             Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Chairman

WHAT:          LEGISLATIVE HEARING on the Native Culture, Language, and Access for
Success in Schools Act (S. 1262)

WHEN:          2:15 p.m., Thursday, June 30, 2011

WHERE:       628 Dirksen Senate Office Building


Panel I:

MR. WILLIAM MENDOZA, Acting Director, White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC

MR. KEITH MOORE, Director, Bureau of Indian Education, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Panel II:

THE HONORABLE CEDRIC CROMWELL, Board of Directors, United South and Eastern Tribes/Chairman, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Mashpee, MA

MR. SCOTT RUSSELL, Rocky Mountain Region Area Vice President, National Congress of American Indians/Secretary, Crow Tribe, Crow Agency, MT

MS. AMY BOWERS, Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund, Boulder, CO

Panel III:

MS. DAYNA BRAVE EAGLE, Tribal Education Department, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Kyle, SD

MS. JESSICA IMOTICHEY, Senior Policy Analyst, Chickasaw Nation, Ada, OK