If the Santa Clara Pueblo grants the Santa Clara Day School….
Q: …will the tribe have to find its own funding and take over the full cost of running the school?
A: No. The Bureau of Indian Education upholds its responsibility to provide funding for the tribe to operate school. This funding is determined on a rolling three year attendance average. The school will have more flexibility to determine how funds are used to operate the school.
Q: …does this allow the Bureau of Indian Education to be released from their trust responsibility to provide education to the tribe?
A: The Bureau of Indian Education still provides funding and ownership of facilities, unless the tribe wants to assume the responsibility. The BIE is also still responsible for providing technical assistance and support to the school when the tribe requests it. Staff will still have access to BIE professional development.
Q: …where does the money for the school go?
A: There are several different options to set up the School Board to ensure funds are being used to cover the operation of the schools. Funds will be used to cover education related expenses. Additionally, the school is still audited annually by the BIE to ensure funds are being used correctly.
Q: …will this mean the tribe is responsible for paying to fix the school buildings?
A: Not necessarily. When going through the grant process, the tribe has the option of taking ownership of the school facilities or having the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) maintain ownership. If the BIA maintains ownership, the school will receive funds to hire facility managers and custodial staff. Also, the school will be able to request funds for emergencies, such as a boiler breaking or a roof leak.
Q: …what happens to current staff and teachers?
A: Santa Clara Day School staff will transition from being federal employees to being employed by the tribal organization in charge of running the school. Staff will operate on a new salary structure with new retirement and health benefits. All staff will be able to reapply for their positions.
Q: …will we be able to teach language and culture in the school?
A: Yes. By granting the school, School Board and administration will have more flexibility to determine curriculum and classes provided, including language and culture.
Q: ….will my child, who is currently enrolled at the Day School, still be able to attend?
Q: …will my child need to be performing at a certain level to be allowed to enroll at the school?
A: Test scores and other performance data are not expected to be used to determine eligibility to enroll in the school.
Q: …will I have to pay tuition for my child to attend this school?
A: No. The school will still be funded by the BIE and will not require tuition.
Q: …what will the difference be? Why do this?
A: By granting the Day School, the Tribe and School Board will have more flexibility to determine education programs that are specific to the needs of the Santa Clara Pueblo and support the community’s youth.
Q: …when will this happen?
A: The Santa Clara Day School will officially transition to Tribally Controlled status on July 1, 2016..
Q: ...why am I only hearing about this now?
A: Since July 2014, community members have been providing input to ensure concerns are heard and appropriately addressed. You can see some of our updates here!
Q: …how can I be more involved?
A: Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering, having a conversation about your questions and concerns, or even if you just want to be on our email list! Sign up on our Contact Us page.