Education priority to advance employment, culture

CTWSO FlagThe second priority of the Tribal Council Proclamation 26—following the first priority of a balanced tribal budget—is education: “To improve tribal academic performance and cultural preservation.”

With this priority, Council will develop, review, and approve a plan to restructure and build the Tribe’s higher education program, with six goals in mind.

The first goal is to increase and expand tribal higher education scholarships. The finance director and treasury controller are tasked with developing a plan to build and expand education revenue.

The human resources director, higher education secretary and Education Committee are given a number of projects:

Continue the tribal scholarship requirement that all college-bound students apply for FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Build on the existing scholarship listing for college-bound students, and work with other tribal Education programs.

Host fund-raising activities for the tribal scholarship program.

Work with Natural Resources on the idea of adding $1 for fishing permits, with the funds going toward the tribal scholarship program.

Finally, under this first goal, The Place for Kids director is to work with the Education Committee on seeking donations from corporations.

Employment, youth

The second education goal is to improve and expand vocational training and workforce development programs. Vocational Rehabilitation director and staff are given this task.

The third goal: Develop and fund internships, apprenticeships, youth employment, and career development opportunities. The employment services manager, Voc Rehab, the Workforce Investment Act coordinator, and Apprenticeship Committee are in charge of this objective.

In the summer of 2014, the Native Aspirations program provided work opportunities for many young people on the reservation. There may be a chance to continue this program again in 2015, said Caroline Cruz, tribal health liaison.

The fourth goal of the Education priority: Develop plan to improve preparation, performance, and achievement of K-12 students attending Jefferson County public schools, including measuring and monitoring academic performance.

Tribal Council began work in January on this objective.

The fifth goal: Implement a language and cultural curriculum in the Jefferson County public schools. The Education Committee, Culture and Heritage, Johnson O’Malley Committee, Education liaison are to work with the school district on developing this project.

Charter school

The final goal of the Education priority is to explore the feasibility, and develop a strategy for a tribal charter school on the reservation. The Education Committee, Johnson O’Malley Committee and Education liaison are to work with the school district on this goal.