Alerts & Latest News

2023 Legislative Achievements for Native students

Apr 10, 2023

Now that the 2023 state legislative session is over, we’d like to thank you again for supporting the Tribal Remedy Framework bills. Below is an overview of what we accomplished for Native students, along with our tasks going forward as we continue to advance the Tribal Remedy Framework.

Tribal education policy bills passed:

House Bill 148 (2023) Early Childhood Dept. Tribal Agreements (Rep. D. Lente)
Signed by the Governor on March 16 Chaptered
HB 148 gives Tribes the right to develop and deliver self-determined early childhood education and care programs, with state funding but without state interference. Tribal sovereignty in early childhood education ensures that the youngest Native children can learn in their own language, immersed in their own culture.
House Bill 198 (2023) Career Tech Funding for Indian Ed. Schools (Rep. Lente with Reps. Allison, Herrera, Johnson, Szczepanski)
Coordinated by the LANL Foundation
Signed by the Governor on March 30
HB 198 expands existing funding for career technical education to include Bureau of Indian Education secondary schools, which will ensure that Native students have equal access to high-quality career technical education programs.
House Bill 280 (2023) American Indian Ed. Tech Assistance Centers (Rep. D. Lente)
Endorsed by the Higher Ed. Dept.
Signed by the Governor on March 30
HB 280 directs the Higher Ed. Dept. to establish two Technical Assistance Centers for Indian Education in geographically distinct regions of the state to assist schools, school districts, BIE schools and tribal education departments to better meet the needs of Native students.

Funding secured:

State Budget 2023: House Bill 2 $20m for the Indian Education Fund. PED must begin distribution of awards no later than Sept. 1, 2023, and recipients will have until June 2025 to use this money. Extension of the time period for using last year’s funding for tribal community-based extended learning ($13,310,300) to June 2024.
Capital Outlay 2023: House Bill 505 $20 million to plan, design, construct, renovate, furnish and equip tribal libraries statewide.

Our work continues:

Tribal Education Trust Fund (HB 140)A Tribal Education Trust Fund would be a new and permanent source of state funding for Tribes. By providing stable and consistent funding for Tribal Education Departments, it would invest in tribal capacity to develop and deliver culturally relevant education programs and services. The goal is to establish such a fund with a $250 million investment.
Regular funding stream for Trust Fund (HB 149)A Trust Fund requires a regular funding stream to ensure sustainability. HB 149 proposed a revenue source equivalent to income derived from state lands, which are ancestral tribal lands.
Reforms to the Indian Education Fund (HB 147)Since 2003, The Indian Education Fund (IEF) has awarded small, reimbursable grants that revert if not spent within a limited period. This scattershot approach is one of the reasons why the State has consistently failed to implement the Indian Education Act. HB 147 sought to reform the IEF by directing half of the funding to Tribes and allowing Tribes to carry over unused funds.
Funding for Indigenous, bilingual and multicultural higher ed. programs (HB 464)Indigenous, bilingual and multicultural higher ed. programs must be adequately funded to build a pipeline for Native and bilingual teachers and to support schools with a culturally and linguistically responsive education framework. HB 464 would have funded a broad range of programs at universities and tribal colleges statewide.

This session’s achievements would not have been possible without your commitment to speak out for Native children. We hope you will continue your dedicated support for tribal education sovereignty and the Tribal Remedy Framework!