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AIEOC Annual Report 2011

American Indian Education Oversight Committee (AIEOC) Annual Report 2011.

American Indian Education Oversight Committee

Annual Report for Calendar Year 2011

Approved by the American Indian Education Oversight Committee — March 16, 2012

Establishment of the American Indian Education Oversight Committee

The American Indian Education Oversight Committee (AIEOC) was authorized by Senate Bill 1710 (Senator Dick Ackerman, R-Tustin) signed into law in 2006. SB 1710 requires the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) to appoint an AIEOC to provide input and advice to the SSPI on American Indian education programs. The Committee must be comprised of at least seven educators, four of whom shall be American Indian education center directors and shall possess proven knowledge of current educational policies relating to, and issues faced by, American Indian communities in California. The California Education Code (EC) was amended to include: “If the Superintendent is unable to find a qualified individual to fill a vacancy in one of the four positions for center directors within 30 days of the vacancy arising, he or she may fill the vacancy with an educator who is not a center director.”

On August 22, 2011, SSPI Tom Torlakson announced the reappointment of nine members to serve on the AIEOC. The members reappointed to the AIEOC were:  Irma Amaro, Andre Cramblit, Deborah DeForge, Laura Lee George, Amber Machamer, Kathleen Marshall, Rachel McBride, John Focke, and Rod Lindsay. Two new members were also appointed, Helen Doherty and Russell “Butch” Murphy. Each member was required to complete the online course Assembly Bill 1234 Ethics Training for Local Officials and submit the signed Public Service Ethics Education Online Proof of Participation Certificate. The members also were required to submit Form 700, Statement of Economic Interests, to the California Department of Education (CDE).

SB 1710 did not provide any funding for this oversight committee; therefore, no honorariums or travel reimbursements are available for committee members. During the 2011 calendar year, the committee met on five occasions—March 26, May 19, July 20, September 8, and November 16. Additionally, in coordination with the 34th Annual California Conference on American Indian Education, a Public Hearing was held on March 26 in Los Angeles, California.

Committee Organization

The Migrant, Indian, and International Education Office of the CDE, under the new Director, Brian Centeno, facilitates the work of the AIEOC. Judy Delgado and Chavela Delp have been working with the AIEOC since its inception to accomplish the mission of the committee. All agendas and approved minutes are posted at American Indian Resources. In November 2011, the CDE realigned the operations of many programs, including the American Indian Education Center Program, which is currently housed in the Coordinated Student Support and Adult Education Division under Gordon Jackson, Director. As part of this realignment, Ms. Delgado has been assigned full-time duties as the American Indian Education Program Consultant, and Ms. Delp has been assigned half-time for fiscal duties for the American Indian Education Center programs.

Business of the AIEOC

Election of Officers
At the March 2011 meeting, the AIEOC voted Laura Lee George, Chair; and Amber Machamer, Vice Chair. Andre Cramblit was appointed by the Chair as Parliamentarian. The revised Robert’s Rules of Order for parliamentary procedures previously adopted under the Bylaws continue to govern the meetings of the AIEOC.
Public Hearing
The AIEOC held a public hearing on March 26, 2011, at the 34th Annual California Conference on American Indian Education held in Los Angeles, California. A total of five individuals gave input at the hearing. The input, concerns, and recommendations were recorded and considered by the AIEOC during the year. Comments recorded are listed below:

Katie Valenzuela, Public Advocates, Inc.: Public Advocates, Inc., has concerns that with the rapid adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that California did not adopt the preface to the CCSS. They also are concerned with the lack of accommodation for special needs and lack of guidelines for professional development. The math standards need to be implemented to ensure that they reflect the intent of the CCSS. The assessment consortium (Smarter Balance) is working to provide immediate feedback to teachers on progress that can be addressed within one school year so teachers can utilize those results. She suggested that the AIEOC investigate the Smarter Balance assessment organization to consider making a recommendation to the SSPI based upon the needs of the American Indian community. Flex legislation means implementation of the CCSS may be in limbo, and may delay high level classes from being implemented.

Funds need to be restored to American Indian programs. The State Board of Education (SBE) is developing a committee on American Indian issues and the AIEOC should work to see how they can coordinate our efforts.

Sam Cohen, Tribal Attorney, Santa Ynez Chumash Tribe: Mr. Cohen gave a follow-up on AB 544 (American Indian Languages Teaching Credential) that has been passed and signed by the Governor. The intent of AB 544 needs to be aligned with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in regard to preparation required for teachers of core courses. Mr. Cohen wants to determine if it would be appropriate to include Native Language teachers as part of this requirement. Mr. Cohen also asked that we consider whether Native Language should be added to the California State University (CSU) foreign language requirements.

Nakia Zavalla, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians: Ms. Zavalla expressed her desire to the committee to keep culture and language as part of its efforts. The potential development of three committees needs to be done in a manner that supports cohesiveness and cooperative efforts made on behalf of our students.

Agenda Topics

The AIEOC agendas included presentations, speakers, and updates on a variety of educational topics. These topics included:

Common Core State Standards

On August 2, 2010, the SBE adopted the CCSS in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, and Mathematics in response to the recommendation of the Academic Content Standards Commission (ACSC). The action included the CCSS and specific additional standards that the Commission had deemed necessary to maintain the integrity and rigor of California’s previous state academic standards. The CCSS were developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center).

California applied for the Race to the Top funds. This application included detailed proposals and requests for funding to cover the costs of curriculum framework development, professional development, and other activities in support of the implementation of the CCSS. Since California did not receive federal funding through Race to the Top, those activities will have to be supported by the Legislature through additional appropriations if the implementation is to take place.

The AIEOC has been discussing the CCSS at each meeting as an issue of ongoing interest. The implementation of the CCSS will have a significant impact on American Indian students. The AIEOC has expressed an interest in ensuring that the CCSS be implemented with appropriate teacher training and curricular purchases to meet the unique cultural, educational, and linguistic needs of American Indian students. Members of the AIEOC have been working with the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) to promote the interest of Native American students as the CCSS moves forward.

Smarter Balance

On June 9, 2011, California joined the Summative Multi-state Assessment Resources for Teachers and Educational Researchers (SMARTER) Balanced Assessment Consortium (29 states) as a governing state. Washington state is the fiscal agent and WestEd is the project manager. The Assessment Consortium focuses are: (1) assessments are aligned to college and career readiness standards; (2) students are assessed annually in grades three through eight in English-Language Arts and Mathematics and once in grades ten through twelve (current federal requirements); and (3) computer adaptive technology is utilized. The AIEOC is tracking the progress of implementation of the new assessment.

Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools Act

The Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools (CLASS) Act (United States [U.S.] SB 1262) is a legislative effort addressing many of the needs for Native education stakeholders across the country. It encourages a rigorous curriculum and relevant instruction to be keys in engaging students in research-driven education models that are rooted in the culture, language, histories, and traditions of Native students. The AIEOC continues to follow the progress of the Native CLASS Act as it moves forward.

Tribal Education Departments National Assembly

The Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA) Vice-President, Greg Masten, apprised the AIEOC on efforts of the TEDNA to get the Native CLASS Act passed in the U.S. Legislature. They have the support of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and of President Obama’s administration. The TEDNA is also seeking increased appropriation for American Indian education. If the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) gets passed and replaces the NCLB Act, they’re trying to see if current definitions could be expanded to include tribes. The AIEOC is keeping apprised of the progress on this issue.

Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional kindergarten is a first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate. SB 1381 changed the required birthday for admission to kindergarten phased in over a three-year period. California was one of only four states to have a cut-off date to enter kindergarten between December 1 and January 1. The bill ensures kindergartners will be aged five or older at or near the beginning of the school year. California children will be compared to children from other states on a more equal basis as most states have a September 1 cutoff. Due to fiscal issues, this program is currently optional for school districts.

Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant in California

The CDE received the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Formula Grant funding from the ED. This funding is for each state to assemble a State Literacy Team to develop a statewide literacy plan. The initial literacy plan was submitted in April 2011. The State Literacy Team advises the SBE and the CDE on the development of a comprehensive state literacy plan for birth through grade twelve. Although the state did not receive the competitive state grant, the CDE can still implement the literacy plan. The State Literacy Team is currently carrying out the “New Focus” phase of the literacy plan. The goal is to meet the reading instruction needs of each grade level from birth through grade twelve, and also to focus on major transition periods between age and grade spans.

The SRCL Plan established the State Literacy Plan to help subgroups who are struggling with reading. Those subgroups are identified through state assessment data. To date, Indian students have not yet been identified as a subgroup. 

Assembly Bill 18 (Brownley)

The AIEOC has been updated on AB 18 which would collapse categorical programs into a block grant funding process. This will have potential impact funding for the 27 American Indian Education Centers (AIEC).

State Board of Education

The SBE has approved the development of an American Indian Education Advisory Committee. The AIEOC will have an opportunity to be represented on this committee. One area of work of the advisory group will be the development of relevant American Indian curriculum.

Assembly Bill 404―Native American Language Preservation

AB 404 was introduced by Assembly Member Gatto. Co-authors: Assembly Members Chesbro, Galgiani, and V. Manuel Perez. This act would create a Native American Languages Institute within the CSU System. The AIEOC is being apprised of the progress of the bill.

Legislative Field Trips

The SSPI has expressed an interest in hosting a series of visits to American Indian communities to allow him and invited state legislators to see firsthand the workings of Indian Education programs. The AIEOC is working with the SSPI to facilitate this process. Fundraising will be necessary to implement these trips.

Indian Education Status Report

The SSPI has expressed that he would like to see the AIEOC produce an annual report to help brief him on the status of education centers and programs and issues in American Indian communities. The AIEOC has not been able to obtain the data to produce an accurate report. While the data does exist, reports are not broken out by American Indian students without an EC requirement to do so. The AIEOC is continuing to study this matter and will be exploring California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) data possibilities.

SSPI Advisories

A total of three Advisories were sent to SSPI Tom Torlakson:

  • July 26, 2011, regarding Education Department Reorganization;
  • October 18, 2011, regarding AB 18 and American Indian Early Childhood Education Center Funding; and
  • November 18, 2011 regarding Legislative Field Trips. 
These Advisories are below:


Date: July 26, 2011

To: Superintendent Tom Torlakson

From: Laura Lee George, Chair AIEOC

RE: Education Department Reorganization

The AIEOC met on July 20, 2011 and unanimously voted that I send you this advisory regarding the changes to the American Indian Education Program (AIEP) at the Department of Education. It is the AIEOC’s understanding that the Department of Education will be going through a reorganization in the near future and there are strong concerns regarding the AIEP.


The AIEOC and AIEP are responsible for providing input and advice to the SSPI (you) on all matters of Indian Education including the 27 American Indian Centers. In 2005 the AIEP had 2+ FTE consultants and analyst. It then went to 1 FTE consultant and ½ FTE analyst. The 2011 cuts resulted in ½ FTE consultant and ¼ FTE analyst from another unit. 


  • Staff in different units, materials and files are spread out with backup being lost
  • Communications with/between Centers have been lost
  • Lack of timely responses to fiscal and other questions
  • No quarterly CDE meetings with American Indian Center Directors
  • No legislative/regulation updates
  • No technical assistance
  • No budget or organizational updates
  • No evaluation data
  • Data for AIEOC Annual Report collected on 2007–08 base year, then flexibility kicked in and no data after that


In order to keep the American Indian Education Programs and Centers strong:

  • Keep the AIEP staff in the same unit at CDE
  • Increase AIEP FTE to full positions
    • To facilitate communications, technical and fiscal assistance, data collection
    • To assure evaluation and accountability of programs


Date: October 18, 2011

To: Superintendent Tom Torlakson

From: Laura Lee George, Chair AIEOC

RE: AB 18 & American Indian Early Childhood Education Center Funding

The AIEOC met on September 8, 2011 and voted that this advisory be sent to you regarding the affect of AB 18 on the loss of funding to Indian students.


  • AB 18, as amended on July 5 2011, includes American Indian Early Childhood Education Centers (Item 6110-150-0001) in the Targeted Pupil Equity Funding block grant (see Section 42310 (d)(1)(A)).
  • American Indian Early Childhood Education Centers funding is approximately $531,000 each fiscal year. This represents approximately 13% of the total budget earmarked specifically for American Indian students.
  • Since 2009, this categorical grant was put into "flexibility," meaning the money could be used for any educational purpose. However, the intent of that money was originally to help meet the early education needs of American Indian students.
  • While AB 18 will create new block grants to replace the original categorical programs, the block grants are generally constructed to keep with the original intent of the programs they are replacing. For instance, the Mathematics and Reading Professional Development Program (Item 6110-137-0001) and the Teacher Credentialing Block Grant (Item 6110-244-0001) target professional development that improves instruction, so are appropriately placed in the Quality Instruction block grant.
  • As the Targeted Pupil Equity block grant will specifically target low-income students and English-language learners, it is inappropriate to include the American Indian Early Childhood Education Centers. To do so would negate the original intent of the categorical grant.


Therefore, item 6110-150-0001 should be removed from the Targeted Pupil Equity block grant. Those funds should be combined with the American Indian Education Centers (item 6110-151-0001) funding and should not be distributed through districts. In this way, these limited resources can be appropriately targeted toward American Indian students.


Date: November 18, 2011

To: Superintendent Tom Torlakson

From: Laura Lee George, Chair AIEOC

RE: Legislative Fieldtrips

The AIEOC met on November 16, 2011 and voted that this advisory be sent to you regarding the planning for legislative fieldtrips to American Indian educational communities.

The AIEOC understands that the State Legislature will be on break April 2-6, 2012 and felt that this would be a good time to conduct a fieldtrip to the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.  The Hoopa Tribal Education Programs and the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District will be operating classes and will be in session the whole week. Travel time is a little over five hours one-way (with no road delays) necessitating a two day itinerary. First day will have morning travel with afternoon and evening events, and on the second day, morning events with afternoon travel. Please use your discretion in choosing any two days of that week for the fieldtrip.  If for some reason this week is not a good week for a fieldtrip please advise me.

The AIEOC also had questions as to how the legislators will be invited. Will all legislators be invited, or will certain ones be targeted? If the invitations are to be targeted, then the AIEOC asks to be included for input.

The AIEOC is meeting again on January 25, 2012 and will be available for further planning.

cc: Craig Cheslog, Judy Delgado

Questions: Judy Delgado | | 916-319-0506 
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 20, 2017
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