Lawmakers Hear Update On Yazzie-Martinez Lawsuit
In July 2018, the courts ruled the state was violating the constitutional rights of students, by not adequately investing in public education nor adopting the educational instruction and programs.
The court ordered the state to ensure students to be college and career ready, and to fix deep inequities for low-income, Native American, English-language learners and students with disabilities.
In the time since the ruling the state has pumped billions of dollars into education, but the state still ranks very low nationally in outcomes.
Regis Pecos is Chair of the Tribal Education Alliance. He says one of the big problems is that many native students don’t have the resources they need to succeed close to home.
“They come from our community as I did in my time,” he said. “Bused to another community where schools are located, an hour - two hours for some - and so while all the investments are made at the school site, the reality is after school support, tutoring, mentoring, all of what is unveiled to be a support system, when the bell rings the majority of those children get on a bus and go back to their own community where that infrastructure and amenities don’t exist.”
The Tribal Education Alliance is asking lawmakers to Invest in tribal education capacity with a community based education and infrastructure to support Native students, to increase tribal control and targeted funding for Native K-12 students and to build a support infrastructure with Native-led higher education programs to help tribes and schools develop a balanced education that is culturally and linguistically relevant.