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Honoring Calls to Service

Honoring Calls to Service

By Alfred Walking Bull The Sicangu Eyapaha While most Americans may consider Memorial Day weekend a time to relax and kick off summer, it holds a more meaningful significance for those in the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. For RST Information Technology Director and veteran, Dion Reynolds, the day is a reminder of the service of Native … Continue reading

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  • ALFRED WALKING BULLTHE SICANGU EYAPAHAIn a memo dated April 29, Rosebud Sioux Tribe Head Start Director Vonda Pourier notified the tribal administration that the Head Start program would institute a two-week furlough from May 20 to 31 to comply with the federal budget sequestration. Although the furlough complies with the 5.27 percent budget cut, Pourier said her program had already looked at scaling back the school year for Head Start students. The move was characterized as a way to save positions for employees, Pourier said. “We’re really fortunate. We did have to streamline one position; we had a management position that is now an assistant.” The memo stated, “Head Start programs across the nation are suffering tremendously with the 5.27 percent budget cuts, fortunately the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Head Start will not have to close any centers or dissolve any positions. School will be closed for the summer on May 15 and the classroom staff’s last day for the summer is May 16.” According to the memo, cuts for Rosebud’s program totaled $127,859 for fiscal year 2013 and a revised budget with this dollar amount was approved by the RST Budget & Finance Committee on March 12 and Tribal Council on April 19 as Resolution No. 2013-36. The most immediate cuts impact staff training the next academic year. Pourier said the program needs to eliminate seven days from the budget to comply with the cuts. School days run from Monday to Thursday for students and Fridays are reserved for staff training on school regulations, CPR, wellness and recognizing child neglect, among other topics. According to Pourier, 29 new staffers may not receive training for those seven days out of the year, so she is hoping to schedule the days off to coincide with winter weather in January and March of next year. She added that Head Start has over 2,000 regulations that staff need to comply with, including education completion. “New staff have to have a child development associate’s degree,” Pourier said. “We have five teachers with a bachelor’s degree now and we will have nine with degrees by August.” The program currently has 16 teachers. She highlighting her program’s ability to do much with little, saying that national Head Start regulations require 50 percent of teachers to have to have a bachelor’s degree by September, “We’re going to meet the national standard.”

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Rose Cordier
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Alfred Walking Bull
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Tani Gordon
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