The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior, promotes Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) social-emotional learning, linking it to post-COVID-19 school re-openings.
The BIE’s website cites CASEL research on social-emotional learning, describing it as, “the process in which students understand, recognize, and manage emotions, create and accomplish positive goals, understand and demonstrate empathy for others, develop and maintain positive and safe relationships, and foster decision-making skills. Addressing any educational gaps students may have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is critical.”
CASEL is an educational consultant who describes itself as a “trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning,” known as “SEL.” CASEL says it “supports educators and policy leaders and enhances the experiences and outcomes for all PreK-12 students.”
A 2021 letter from the BIE’s Director, Tony Dearman, states that the BIE received $409.4 million in federal funds.
“ On December 27, 2020, the President signed into law P. L. 116-260, Consolidated Appropriations Act, providing Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) transfer funds to BIE in the amount of $409.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Stabilization Fund. The funding will be distributed using existing formulas based upon K-12 school and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) student counts to ensure parity to the extent practicable. “
The BIE’s 2021 Fiscal Year Budget Justifications states, “Native American youth are the most important resource of any tribe, and their education is vital to the well-being of Indian Country. Many Indian communities that BIE programs support face social and socio-economic challenges at disproportionate rates compared to the rest of America. Improving education services in tribal communities is essential to promote economic development, increase educational achievement, and improve standards of living for future generations of American Indians and Alaska Natives”
The Bureau of Indian Education, located in Washington, DC, oversees 183 schools on 63 reservations.