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Bill creating community-based schools for Native Americans reintroduced at legislature

Sen. Troy Heinert addresses the Senate Education Committee has he discusses his proposal for...
Sen. Troy Heinert addresses the Senate Education Committee has he discusses his proposal for community-based schools for Native Americans on Feb. 3.(South Dakota Broadcaster's Association)
Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 1:24 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A legislative committee has advanced a bill that would create community-based schools for Native Americans in South Dakota.

The Senate Education Committee passed SB 139 Thursday by a vote of six to one, South Dakota Broadcaster’s Association Reports.

The bill would create the opportunity for four Oceti Sakowin community-based schools in the state. The bill also provides criteria for the charter schools to receive state funding.

Democratic Senator Troy Heinert of District 26 is the prime sponsor of the bill. This is the third year he’s brought the bill to the legislature. He says the current system for Native students isn’t enough.

“60 years of stagnant numbers for Native kids, and now we have some of these schools that are that are operating, but they’re operating on peanuts... We’re begging and borrowing for money, but they’re doing great things,” Heinert said.

Heinert said he is hopeful that this is the year the bill goes through the whole process.

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