Archive for Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Education issues

October 22, 2002


To the editor:

As a concerned citizen, I'm watching as the Republicans avoid dealing with or passing legislation that would fund both public schools and federal responsibilities like Haskell Indian Nations University. There is currently a president who promised that no child would be left behind. I genuinely question the validity of this statement.

In this town, there's the possibility that the "have-nots" will be sacrificed for the "haves." The 14th Amendment protects against this happening, right? This amendment gives equal protection under the law and access to public education, right? Equal protection means providing funding, right?

With Haskell, the U.S. Congress has the responsibility to pass appropriations bills to fund items like education. The U.S. Congress has funded Native American education since the 1790s, and providing education for American Indian children was one of the reasons for the Civilization Act of 1819. Native lands were given in exchange for Indian education. Native peoples gave up land for settlers. This was mostly accomplished with veiled threats of annihilation. President Andrew Jackson used this tactic to remove most of the Mississippi Choctaws to Indian Territory in 1830. This is how Congress' responsibility to fund Haskell came about.

Currently, it seems as if there's a fear to question those who should be questioned. No one's above questioning, not Ralph Tanner, Scott Mortan, Jim Ryun or George W. Bush. Smaller government doesn't take away constitutional rights to education or the promises to uphold treaty responsibilities for the Republicans, does it?

Mike Ford,


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