The South Dakota Senate Education Committee has approved a bill to create four community-based schools for Native Americans. The measure now goes to the full Senate.
The bill would not only create the Oceti Sakowin community-based charter schools, it would also provide criteria for them to receive state funding.
Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert is the prime sponsor of the bill. This is the third year he’s brought it to the legislature and he’s hopeful this is finally the year it makes through the entire process and becomes law.
Senator Heinert says the current education system for native students is not sufficient, as shown by 60 years of stagnant scores and numbers for those students.
He’s pleased there are some Oceti Sakawin schools now and that they’re “doing great things,” but warns that they’re “operating on peanuts” with supporters begging and borrowing for money.