District spokesperson Patti Spencer-Watkins says the district, in many cases, simply failed to keep accurate records on students who had left Seattle schools. In a few other cases, she says, students may have been Native American, but weren't enrolled members of federally-recognized tribes.
Some context was provided by a comment by "Indian Educator"
I run a similar program using funds from the same source. The program guidelines are quite clear: A "qualified" student is one who is enrolled in a state or federally recognized tribe or whose parent or grandparent is enrolled. I'd imagine that the "inflated" number is a result of self-identified students who may or may not have American Indian ancestry and who have checked the American Indian box on school registration forms. Not all of these students though are "qualified" - some might be First Nations from Canada, some might not have a history of tribal enrollment, some might be East Indian, who knows about the rest.
Important in this is to state that this program is not "race based." If it were then the "self identifiers" would count. Instead, it's politically based: A student must have a political relationship with a tribe that has a political relationship with the state or US government. The US Government, the funder of this program, owes nothing to those who haven't maintained ties (unrecognized tribes, unenrolled students, etc.) or never had them to begin with (First Nations Canadians, indigenous South Americans, etc.).That's good information to know. But the issue seems to be not that they counted students wrongly. There were never that many students to begin with to be counted (at least from my understanding of what was said at the Committee meeting).
Nina also wrote about the issue of the Title One funding at Thurgood Marshall. From the story:
The district distributes federal "Title I" funding, earmarked for poor kids, to schools that have more than 55 percent of students who receive free or reduced-price lunches. This year, Thurgood Marshall easily qualified for the funding. The district looks at the preceding year's demographics, and poor kids represented 83 percent of the population.
With the APP kids, however, only 42 percent of students qualify for free or discounted lunches (see pdf)--and the district in recent weeks has told parents and staff that they would receive no Title I funding at all next year. (The school also went from 6 percent to 37 percent white.)
Apparently the differences between the groups at Thurgood Marshall is felt by both sides as evidenced by these two quotes (one from Meg Diaz):
"The APP parents are the primary focus," says Wallace-Croone, adding that the two programs constitute "segregation in the truest form."
Diaz says that parents from both communities have been trying hard to work together but acknowledges that "it's been a rough year."
And hello? This kind of divide is precisely what happened at Madrona before and John Stanford himself said it was an experiment that shouldn't be tried again.
Also Dori Monson over at 97.3 KIRO FM saw the Weekly article about the Native American funding and has ran a story on his blog. Apparently he may discuss it on his show this week. His show runs at noon. He's over the top in his opinion of what should be done (and claims that WA state has one of the worst graduation rates in the country - we don't).
As soon as the Legislature gets done with its session, I can do a round-up of the education bills passed there and the general tone of how we pay for education in this state given the recent ruling on the State's paramount duty.