One of the most misunderstood tribal programs is the Title VII Indian Education Program. According to the Department of Education:
The mission of the Office of Indian Education is to support the efforts of local educational agencies, Indian tribes and organizations, postsecondary institutions, and other entities to meet the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives so that these students can achieve to the same challenging state standards as all students.
Local Education Agencies are given priority for funding for these programs. In the UHN service area, Terrebonne, Lafourche and Jefferson parishes have opted to apply for this program and the various parish school boards are grantees of these funds. The funding for the program is formula based; meaning funds are granted based upon the number of eligible students enrolled. Students are eligible for enrollment when:
- The student is an enrolled student within the school district.
- The student, parent or grandparent must be an enrolled member of a federal or state recognized tribe.
- Each student must have a 506 form on file verifying eligibility for enrollment with the school district and/or grantee organization.
When a school district chooses not to apply for funding, then the Tribe with the majority of the enrolled students within that parish/county may apply with the support of the school district. The UHN has been in contact with St. Mary, St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parish School Boards to pursue funding for these parishes thus extending educational services to tribal youth throughout the service area. The UHN intends to apply for funding in 2015 within these areas; however, a first step is to gather 506 forms to verify eligibility of tribal students. In order to adequately operate a program across these areas, the UHN needs to enroll a minimum of 75 students (at least 25 per parish).
Please help us ensure our tribal youth have the ability to receive these much needed services by completing this 506 form for your children enrolled in St. Mary, St. Bernard and/or Plaquemines Parish Public Schools. Additionally if you reside in Terrebonne, Lafourche and Jefferson and your children are not currently enrolled in the Indian Education Program, please feel free to complete as well and we will forward to the appropriate Indian Education Program.
Mail all completed 506 forms by September 30, 2014 to: