Media Contact: Lovett 202-343-7445
For Immediate Release: December 20, 1978

Indian educators, students, tribal community representatives and Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel will meet January 8-11 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to begin implementation efforts for two major pieces of Indian education legislation enacted in the closing days of the 95th Congress.

Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary Rick Lavis said that 12 Task Forces, selected through consultation with tribal councils and national Indian organizations, will work with a BIA steering committee to implement the Tribal Controlled Community College Act (PL 95-471) and Title XI of the Education Amendments Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-561).

Lavis said "the Education Amendments Act calls for substantial changes and new developments in the organization and administration of Indian education programs both in public school systems and in BIA schools. In accord with our policy of Indian self-determination, we will be working closely with the Indian community to accomplish the purposes of the legislation." Lavis said the conferees would be identifying issues and resources, formulating action plans, and beginning to develop proposed regulations.

This will be the first meeting of the Task Forces. In early November, Lavis asked Indian leaders to nominate individuals to serve on the various groups which will deal with such issues as school boards, education personnel, student rights, funding formulas, education policies and other matters involved in implementing the new legislation.

A summary of comments and recommendations from BIA school admini­strators, made at an early December meeting in Phoenix, will be made available to the Task Forces.

Lavis has been given responsibility for managing the policy and planning actions necessary for implementing the legislation by the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Forrest Gerard.