Carlyle Begay: Native American youth deserve a better education

Carlyle Begay, a member of the Navajo Nation, is running for U.S. Congress. Photo from Facebook

Carlyle Begay, a member of the Navajo Nation, is putting a priority on education in his bid for Arizona's 1st Congressional seat. He supports S.2711, the Native American Education Opportunity Act, a bill that would divert funds from the Bureau of Indian Education in order for tribal students to attend schools of their choice:
Born and raised on the Navajo Nation, I witnessed first-hand the many problems facing Native people. Despite our communities’ challenges, the value of education was instilled in me. After graduating from high school I went to the University of Arizona which opened many doors for me, intellectually and professionally.

I studied cellular and molecular biology, with aspirations to become a medical doctor, but soon developed a thirst for serving my community. I believe serving others is the best way to help other Native Americans succeed in Arizona and across this great country.

We all know the substandard social and economic statistics when it comes to Indian country and housing, health care and education.

Even by those standards, two statistics released by the Arizona Department of Education are eye-popping: in Apache and Navajo Counties alone there are 23 failing schools. And on average, less than 10 percent of students on the Navajo Nation complete an undergraduate degree.

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Carlyle Begay: Why We Need a Navajo Voice in Washington (Indian Country Today 6/8)

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