Rep. Dustin Roberts’ bill extends sunset on Indian Education

Ponca City Now - February 25, 2020 2:36 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY –State Rep. Dustin Roberts (R-Durant) on Tuesday won passage of a bill to extend the sunset on the Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education until 2026. The council initially was scheduled to sunset in July.

House Bill 3588 passed the House Rules Committee with a vote of 7-0 and is now eligible to be considered by the entire House.

“This council makes sure the needs of Native American students are met in our Oklahoma public schools,” Roberts said. “It is important to me this group continues its good work, and I’m thankful the members of the House Rules Committee advanced this legislation.”

Jennifer Bowman Gray, senior state policy analyst with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma said, “I have been a member of the Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education since its inception in 2010. The OACIE has been a vital component to the enhancement of the relationships between the tribes of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.  It is of the utmost importance for OACIE to continue to build these relationships and to continue to advocate for the Native American students of Oklahoma.”

The Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education was initially created by legislation in 2010 with the goal of promoting educational opportunities, improving the quality of education and advocating for Native American students in Oklahoma’s public schools. The council also monitors and evaluates how the public education system of the state impacts Native American students.

The council is made up of 18 members – five from tribal nations and four from tribal education agencies among other appointees. The council meets quarterly each fiscal year and produces an annual report with recommendations to the Oklahoma State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Among its duties, the council helps identify strategies for developing an efficient and reliable process of communications between Oklahoma education entities, educators, tribal organizations and other interested parties.

The council also identifies and disseminates research-based, measurable criteria, both behavioral and academic, by which the success and efficacy of the education offered to Native American students in Oklahoma may be measured. The group also analyzes such data to ensure education agencies in Oklahoma continue to address the education needs of Native American students.

Encouraging and promoting Native American leadership at all levels of the state’s education system is another goal of the council, as is make recommendations to the State Board of Education for programs that will help achieve the purposes of the council and the Indian Education Act.


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