Native American educational bills stall out at the House floor
Several bills were introduced at the beginning of the legislative session that centered around funding Native American education and cultural programs. And although they made it to the House floor, they likely won’t get a vote.
Two major bills have died as a result of disagreement between stakeholders, according to the bills’ sponsor Rep. Derrick Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo).
Source New Mexico’s Megan Taros reports House bill 140 would have created a tribal education trust fund to support tribes to build infrastructure and culturally-responsive education programs. House bill 147 would have funneled more money directly to tribes under the Indian Education Act.
But Navajo Nation leadership criticized the funding formulas in the bills. At the February 21st House Appropriations and Finance Committee hearing, Navajo Nation Council lobbyist Patti Williams said the council passed a resolution opposing HB140.
"In this bill, it’s clear that 75% of the children that would benefit from the funding that’s addressed in this bill are Navajo children," said Williams. "Under this bill and the funding formula, only 11% of the funding would go to the Navajo children."
Both bills have since been sitting on the House floor calendar and Lente said he would not push for a vote on either.
He says he will make adjustments to the bills for the next session and anticipates funding from Constitutional Amendment 1 to support tribal education until then.
You can read Megan Taros' full article, Tribal education reform bills stalled in New Mexico Legislature
at Source NM.