The 113th Congress provides a key opportunity to advance the reform of Native education through consideration of legislation similar to that for the Native Culture Language, and Access for Success in Schools (CLASS) Act. Last month, NIEA requested members to review the  draft language and submit their feedback. In the coming months, NIEA and its partners will provide more information on the progress of developing and passing the new legislation.

The following draft language comes from NIEA’s initial proposal for the Native CLASS Act, which addresses the joint NCAI/NIEA education priorities outlined in NIEA Resolution 10-8 (page 16) and NCAI'S Resolution #ABQ-10-054. The language has been marginally edited to account for some updates in the past year, such as the removal of the Troops to Teachers provision. The National Defense Authorization Act recently made the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) eligible for the program eliminating the need for legislative action.


During the 112th Congress, the Native CLASS Act (S. 1262 and H.R. 3569) was passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in October 2011. The Native CLASS Act is a comprehensive bill that includes a number of provisions tribal leaders have long sought, including the recognition of tribal governments as sovereigns in directing the education of Native students.

Next Steps

In partnership with NCAI, the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA), and the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), NIEA is working with Congress to introduce a Native education measure similar to the Native CLASS Act. NIEA and its partners have already begun reevaluating the previous language and considering revisions and additions. NIEA has taken comments and will continue to work on the language, as well as other aspects of the proposed bill.

You can learn more by contacting Clint Bowers, NIEA's Research and Policy Associate.





      Read the draft language and summary for the Native CLASS Act

     Read NIEA/NCAI’s joint education priorities (NIEA Resolution 10-8 (Page 16)/NCAI Resolution #ABQ-10-054)

Check out an earlier analysis of the Native CLASS Act

Read the Native CLASS Act language as passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in 2011