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November 2013 Meeting Minutes

November 19, 2013, meeting minutes for the American Indian Education Oversight Committee.

American Indian Education Oversight Committee Meeting

November 19, 2013


Committee Members: Laura Lee George (Chair), André Cramblit (Parliamentarian), Rodney Lindsay, Rachel McBride, Irma Amaro, Deborah DeForge

Excused Absence: Russell“Butch” Murphy, Kathleen Marshall, Amber Machamer

California Department of Education (CDE) Staff Present: Craig Cheslog, Gordon Jackson, Barbara Pomerantz, Judy Delgado, Chavela Delp

Meeting convened at 11:07 a.m.

Item 1―CDE Updates
Presented by Judy Delgado, American Indian Education Consultant, CDE

  • Niki Sandoval’s appointment to the State Board of Education (SBE) is scheduled to be confirmed on January 9, 2014.

André Cramblit—Is testimony or support needed for Niki Sandoval’s appointment?

Judy Delgado—You would need to contact the SBE. However, the SBE does not believe that there will be any opposition for her appointment.

Laura Lee George—This appointment is happening in January, so many months have passed so why the delay for this appointment?

Judy Delgado—The process takes about a year. It is a regular process.

  • The American Indian Early Childhood Education (AIECE) Program funded the same nine grantees for fiscal year 2013–14. The funding decision for FY 2014–15 is pending.

Rachel McBride—The AIECE is out of flexibility, correct? So are they being held to the grant that was previously submitted or what is their accountability?

Judy Delgado—Yes, they are out of flexibility, therefore, will be held to the California Education Code (EC).    

Deborah DeForge—Are they being funded at the same level?

Judy Delgado—They are receiving a little bit of an increase.

Irma Amaro—When is the discussion for the upcoming year going to happen?

Judy Delgado—The discussion is happening now.

Rachel McBride—Is it still being discussed to move the AIECE Program into the same office as the rest of the American Indian Education programs?

Judy Delgado—That is still being discussed.

Rachel McBride—What about the fact that the funding goes to Local Educational Agencies (LEA), would American Indian Education Centers (AIEC) be able to apply for the funding next year?

Judy Delgado—That is unclear because the authorizing legislation has sunset, however, the legislation stipulates that it goes to LEAs.

Laura Lee George—The old EC Section 52060 has sunset, so would the new funding come under a new EC section?

Judy Delgado—When it appears in the budget, it says EC Section 52060, which no longer exists. And it appears in the budget the same every year, so the program has continued with the original authorizing EC section.

Laura Lee George—Is there anything being done to fix this, regarding EC legislation?

Judy Delgado—Yes, EC legislation is being considered.

Laura Lee George—Will this committee be apprised before final decisions?

Judy Delgado—Yes, and probably offered an opportunity to give input.

Laura Lee George—I request that we give input before it goes forward.

Rodney Lindsay—I think that it is important because we have discussed this in previous meetings, so this gives us some hope if we can apply for this funding.

  • AIEC Funding—Judy Delgado gave an overview of the process and what happened with the AIEC Request for Applications (RFA):
    • An RFA was released because the AIEC Program came out of flexibility for FY 2013–14.
    • The RFA was released on July 1, 2013, and according to regulations we are required to give 60 days, therefore, the RFA was due August 30, 2013.
    • We received 30 applications. All applications were screened for completeness, which was stipulated in the RFA. All the applications passed the initial screening.
    • This year we added 30 points for fiscal compliance, in accordance with the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 [5 CCR], Section 11996.4. The initial points necessary to be consider for funding was 100, which was also stipulated in the RFA.
    • On September 4-6, 2013, the applications were read and scored by a panel of readers. The readers were not part of the American Indian Education Program Office. All of the readers have masters in education or above and also have familiarity with American Indian programs. Each application was read and scored by two readers, as is the custom at the CDE, when grants are read and scored.
    • Only seven of the 30 applications scored a minimum of 100 points, which was the score required to be considered for funding.
    • Based on seven applications meeting the requirements, those seven applications were considered for funding. The CDE determined that even if all seven applications increased their service areas and expanded their program, the legislative intent of providing supplemental services to American Indian children across the state would not be met. In order to uphold the legislation, the CDE initially planned to issue and evaluate a second RFA. The second RFA was released on October 11, 2013. According to regulations, we are required to give 60 days for that RFA, therefore, the due date was December 10, 2013. The CDE then determined that the length of having the RFA out would be detrimental to existing AIECs and many of them may go out of business because of the 60 day wait. For that reason, the CDE determined that by eliminating the 30 fiscal compliance points and lowering the necessary points to receive funding to 50 points, would allow all but six of the lowest scoring applications to be considered for funding.
    • The applications were not reread and rescored. The CDE simply eliminated the 30 fiscal compliance points from all of the applications and re-ranked them.
    • Once the pool of applications was determined, the awards were made pursuant to 5 CCR, Section 11996.5.
    • The entire amount budgeted for the American Indian Education Center Program has been allocated.

Judy Delgado—Are there any questions?

Laura Lee George—How many AIECs have been funding under this new one?

Judy Delgado—Twenty-four AIECs were funded.

Laura Lee George—So that left how many unfunded?

Judy Delgado—Six AIECs were not funded, which include two new agencies and four existing agencies.

Irma Amaro—Since all the funding is allocated, what happens if an AIEC’s appeal is accepted, where does that funding come from?

Judy Delgado—All of the AIECs would be reduced proportionately.

André Cramblit—How long does the process take for the evaluation of the appeals?

Judy Delgado—According to the regulations, there are seven days to get an appeal filed. There is no time limit for the CDE to process the appeal, however, the CDE is moving as quickly as they can and the appeals are in the process right now.

Irma Amaro—So the allocations that would go out to the funded AIECs wouldn’t be affected until the second payment, if an appeal was approved?

Judy Delgado—Yes, that is correct.

Rodney Lindsay—So there are six AIECs that filed an appeal?

Judy Delgado—No, there are six agencies that did not get funding, however, only five agencies filed an appeal.

Rodney Lindsay—So if any or all win the appeal, then they each get reduced and they would still get a center, is that what you are saying?

Judy Delgado—No, I’m saying that the existing AIECs that are funded right now would be reduced to be able to fund the appeals if they were granted.

Irma Amaro—And that would mean one or several?

Judy Delgado—Yes, it could be all five of them.

Rodney Lindsay—And what is the time limit on the appeals?

Judy Delgado—The CDE is in the process right now and it is being done as quickly as possible.

Rachel McBride—So when CDE decided that the timeline was too long, and that something else needed to happen so that AIECs wouldn’t have to close their doors, why was it decided to throw everybody back into the same pool to be re-ranked?

Judy Delgado—That was an internal decision, and that’s how it came out.

Rachel McBride—So anybody who was funded in the first round, it just didn’t matter?

Judy Delgado—The first round funding decision was set aside, and all the applications were re-ranked without the 30 fiscal compliance points. Not reread, just re-ranked.

Laura Lee George—I am more concerned about the process. Is there anything that bubbled to the surfaced that caused so many AIECs not to be funded in the first round?

Judy Delgado—I can only offer an opinion, that because the AIECs were in flexibility for so long, they may not have all been ready to undertake an RFA. And that is just because they had no CDE oversight. When the CDE provided the RFA training, not all the AIECs attended, not all of them stayed for the entire training, and there weren’t a lot of questions. And then throughout the writing period, only two AIECs called and asked for technical assistance.

Laura Lee George—So under the ranking system that was in place, what types of criteria were not met?

Judy Delgado—I don’t know that information. It was just a final score.

Laura Lee George—But the scoring had to be based on something.

Judy Delgado—The scoring was based on the Rubric, which was included with the RFA.

Laura Lee George—Since I am not an AIEC Director, I have not seen the Rubric. Is there an area of the Rubric that was not there? Is there an area that bubbled up?

Judy Delgado—We did not do an analysis on that. We just looked at final scores. There were four areas of the application which included; a description of your center, for 20 points, a Comprehensive Needs Assessment, for 25 points, a Comprehensive Plan, for 30 points, and a Budget, for 25 points.

Deborah DeForge—Are those scores, comments, and rankings a part of public information now?

Judy Delgado—I would have to find that out for sure. You could do a Public Records Act request and I could find that out for you.

André Cramblit—Is it possible under regulations to fund the centers that were not funded and provide them technical assistance and training for one year to produce a fundable application?

Judy Delgado—Right now the decisions have been made for the next five years.

André Cramblit—But under regulations is it possible?

Judy Delgado—Under regulations it says that we run a five year cycle.

Irma Amaro—Maybe this is something that as a committee we can review for the upcoming cycle. I think it’s important to see what the regulations say and maybe what we really want them to reflect for our community and American Indian education in California. That’s why I am on this committee, to look out for the centers and to look out for one another, and to be sure that Indian education in California has their needs met. If we don’t have a voice then what is our purpose here? We are here to be able to comment, and to be able to do an advisory so that we are heard.

Rachel McBride—I want to remind everybody that we are going to have to go through a reauthorization and in that reauthorization process there is an evaluation that is due to the Legislature. So we need to figure out what our next steps are, because the regulations were set up in order to meet those requirements. Our reauthorization is in 2016 and right now we have no data to submit to the Legislature so all of this could be a moot point if we don’t get reauthorized and we don’t produce what is required by the legislature. I think that we need to be mindful of what the legislation states and what we are required to provide and start moving in that direction. If the legislation sunsets, then we are no longer in existence. We have two years, and it is supposed to have five years of data. 

André Cramblit—We have Niki Sandoval’s data?

Rachel McBride—We do, however, that is not comprehensive of all the centers because not all the centers submitted their data. The CDE is the one that is supposed to be putting this evaluation together so we have to make sure that we keep that in mind.

Rodney Lindsay—All that has happened here is an awakening to all of us. This committee needs to be more involved and more powerful with what we say. I’m thankful that to some degree there was some settlement but I’m also looking at how or what we can do, through this committee, to reinforce our needs in our Indian community. I think we need to work harder to make more progress in having our voices heard.

André Cramblit—I appreciate that the CDE understood the need, relevance, and the importance of the centers and stepped back and looked at a way to fund the AIECs. However, unfortunately some of the centers were not funded, and I’d like to find a way that we could provide technical assistance and training to once again fund those centers because they were serving a community that is no longer receiving services. If there is any way that we can do that, I really encourage staff to help out.

Deborah DeForge—I think in the sense of technical assistance being provided to centers, I think the centers that didn’t receive continued funding are in unique situations where they are not affiliated with tribes, so they don’t have tribal support, they don’t have interagency support, and they are serving large communities that now will not receive services. So I think those are all big issues in trying to continue that funding and then provide technical assistance, and provide them with mentors to bring those applications up to standard or whatever is missing. But we won’t know until we see scores and comments and get in there and try to help.

André Cramblit—Mentors can be a good part of that. I think that there must be something that we can do. And I really appreciate the help that the CDE staff provides to us and the efforts that they have made to get these programs up and running.

Laura Lee George—Judy, what percentage of your time and Chavela’s time, or any other employees of the CDE, are assigned to Indian education? What is the staffing level?

Judy Delgado—Right now I’m 50 percent American Indian Education. Chavela is assigned to the program; however, she is not support by American Indian Education funding.

Laura Lee George—So basically all of the technical assistance and everything else fall to you and you’re only half-time?

Judy Delgado—Yes.

Laura Lee George—And you’re half-time so probably with the state budget cuts, your travel has been limited?

Judy Delgado—We are allowed some travel for technical assistance and monitoring visits, so we are going to be allowed to travel.

Judy Delgado—We have one more update on the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (SSPI) Curriculum Committee.

Craig Cheslog—Thank you for your continued advisories to the SSPI highlighting these issues. I appreciate getting the communication from the AIEOC Chair so that the SSPI is aware of your concerns. The SSPI’s Curriculum Committee is in hiatus while we wait for the funding. It is something that the SSPI would still like to see happen. I believe he’s had conversations with Board Member Sandoval about trying to restart this after she is officially confirmed to the SBE. There are still conversations with former Board Member Ramos to figure out how to put the money together so that the travel can happen, the visits can happen, that coordination can happen. So it’s not dead, it’s just dormant while we try to find the money. The SSPI wanted me to assure you know that this is still a priority for him, and still something that he is trying to make happen and he looks forward to these continued conversations. Hopefully we are going to find that funder or two that is/are going to make this happen so that conversations can happen that the SSPI believes are extraordinarily important to this committee, the SBE, and all the students that are served. Thank you for the opportunity to provide this update to you personally and to be here to listen to your concerns and public comments. Any questions?

Laura Lee George—We appreciate the update.

Item 2―Public Comment

Laura Lee George—Are there public comments? There are forms to fill out for public comments.

Paula Starr, Southern California Indian Education Center—Very concerned over the RFA process, the appeal process, the lack of funds for the American Indian children in Los Angeles County, as well as Orange County.

Jason Porter, Towanits Indian Education Center—Concerned for the four centers that were not funded.

Robert Brown, Viejas Indian School—RFA concerns.

James Marquez, Foothill Indian Education Alliance, Inc.—Concerned for the four centers that were not funded. Was there a tier system for funding based on the application score? Who and when was it decided to tie funding to last year’s funding level?

Phillip Hale, Southern California Indian Education Center—Questions on the RFA application process.

Laura Lee George—Phil, how many students do you serve?

Phillip Hale, Southern California Indian Education Center —Last year we served up to 400 students, but we have the potential to serve more.

Deborah DeForge—Phil, did you receive any offers of technical assistance for your application process?

Phillip Hale, Southern California Indian Education Center —Judy said that they were available for any questions.  

Cindy La Marr, Capitol Area Indian Resources, Inc.—Funding concerns.

Mary Trimble Norris, American Indian Child Resource Center—Concerns with the lack of transparency.

Laura Lee George—Any comments or questions from the committee?

James Marquez, Foothill Indian Education Alliance, Inc.—Was there a tier system for funding based on the application score and who decided to tie funding to last year’s funding level?

Gordon Jackson—Because we are in the process of the appeals, we are unable to elaborate and provide answers to a lot of these questions.

Laura Lee George—Can we put this as a future agenda item to have these questions answered after the process is completed? Was there a tier system in place and who decided to tie it to the 2012 funding levels?

Deborah DeForge—We also asked for scores and comments for all of the applications as part of that process?

Rodney Lindsay—Just wanted to thank everybody for their comments. What can we do to acknowledge something as a committee?

Laura Lee George—Did everybody get a copy of the last advisory? I want to read the last advisory dated October 15, 2013, regarding American Indian Education Center funding: (The advisory was read.) Do we all still agree with these recommendations?

Deborah DeForge—I think that it is pretty clear that we recommend funding for all of the 27 centers at least for one year.

Laura Lee George—Do we want to reaffirm our position on that or let it stand?

Deborah DeForge—Gordon, you understand that our recommendation is that all centers, which would include the four that didn’t get refunded, get funded for at least one year, along with technical assistance to bring whatever discrepancies, and it sounds like they don’t even know what the issues were with their applications.

Gordon Jackson—I do understand that.

Irma Amaro—I would like to request a response from the SSPI on our recommendations? We would like to have something in writing for our portfolio.

Gordon Jackson—I will communicate this request to the SSPI’s office.

Laura Lee George—So this committee still stands behind the advisory that was sent after our last meeting, and we do expect a response to our advisory.

Item 3―Committee Business

Laura Lee George—Asked for a motion to approve the October 15, 2013, AIEOC meeting minutes. Irma Amaro moved to approve the October 15, 2013, AIEOC meeting minutes with the correction. Rodney Lindsay seconded. All in favor.  

Laura Lee George—The next meeting will be January 13, 2014, at the CDE.

Laura Lee George—Asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Rodney Lindsay moved to adjourn the meeting. Rachel McBride seconded. All in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 1 p.m.

Questions: Judy Delgado | | 916-319-0506 
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