Working to improve Native education | Education

Since Governor Michel Luhan Grisham’s administration began, New Mexico’s education agencies and the Department of Indian Affairs have built significant relationships between the government and worked closely with tribes and pueblo to meet the needs of students, faculty, and indigenous communities.

Believing that tribal counseling and community participation are key parts of all that public educational institutions do has allowed us to take action that builds on the strengths of Native American students, adequately reflecting the history, knowledge and language of the indigenous population in the classroom; and lead to the recruitment and retention of qualified faculty with academic and cultural knowledge.

Creating a truly equitable career education system also means working with the state government. Working with Lujan Grisham and in consultation and partnership with tribal communities, our agencies are working together to address the challenges faced by Native American students and teachers in early childhood, K-12 and higher education.

This year, the Department of Early Childhood Education and Care will set up a first-of-its-kind advisory coalition on early childhood to inform strategies to support children in tribal communities. ECECD’s previous work with local Indigenous knowledge experts from the Navajo and Zuni Pueblo nation has created the Sowing of Seeds project, a digital workshop that enables tribal communities to create educational content rich in values, culture and knowledge from their own knowledge system. This work will continue to be expanded and included in the ESRB’s budget request for fiscal year 23. In collaboration with Pueblo Tesuke, ECECD has entered into an intergovernmental agreement to fund a cultural and linguistic pre-education program and has provided more than $ 700,000 to nearly 500 teachers and support professionals working in tribal communities across the state.

This year, we are investing $ 1.4 million to continue to build partnerships between the ECECD and 23 sovereign countries and to support the expansion of early childhood cultural and language programs in all tribal communities, such as home visits, early family and toddler interventions (FIT). and to-K. This includes adding staffing to the department to help build the capacity of tribal communities to secure grant funding.

Improving educational outcomes for Native American students remains a priority, and increasing funding for initiatives under the Native American Education Act from $ 5.25 million to $ 20 million will greatly help ensure that tribal education departments and schools, native language programs and ways of educating Indians to receive ongoing support. The Department of Public Education is working with other government educational agencies and higher education partners to create a recruitment kit for Indigenous language teachers across the state, and is recommending $ 1.25 million this year to ensure that teachers with Pre-K up to 12 Indian language and culture certificates are paid the same as other licensed teachers with the same experience.

The Department of Higher Education continues to work with tribal colleges and politicians to improve college admission and Native student graduation rates. Last year, Indians studying at state and tribal colleges in New Mexico received more than $ 4.4 million in public funds, and this year we are working to create a comprehensive free college package so more students can earn degrees and certificates for free. We are also investing more than $ 2.4 million this year in initiatives in tribal and public higher education institutions that support students, faculty and the Indian community, and we are recommending $ 11.1 million for the construction of new educational institutions in these institutions.

We have achieved a lot together, but our work is not over. Continuing this path of partnership, we will open a truly representative education system. This administration is doing this job and we will not stop until every student and community succeeds.

Elizabeth Groginski is the Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers for Preschool Education and Care. Kurt Steinhaus is the Secretary of State for Education of New Mexico. Stephanie Rodriguez is the Secretary of Higher Education in New Mexico.

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