March 4, 2018 -- Great News!  The bill has passed the Senate!  It will now move to the House of Representatives for approval.  Please call the number below and "thank" our Senators for sponsoring our bill.

December 31, 2018 -- President Donald Trump signed S. 943, the Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act into Public Law No: 115-404!

December 11, 2018 -- Statement of Carla Mann, NJOMA Board President, on the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of

S. 943, the Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act

The National Johnson-O’Malley Association (NJOMA) is extremely pleased to announce the U.S. House of Representatives has joined the U.S. Senate in voting to approve the Johnson-O’Malley Supplemental Indian Education Modernization Act (S. 943). Passage of this legislation moves us one step closer to finally addressing the numerous concerns about the persistent inaccuracy of the eligible student counts for the Johnson-O’Malley (JOM) Program, and positions us to now effectively update the 22-year-old student count of 271,884 Indian children to a number that is more representative of the over 1.2-1.4  million children who we believe are eligible for enrollment across the country.

We are especially thankful for the support and sponsorship of our key federal legislative objective in the House of Representatives from Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Don Young (R-AS) and Jared Huffman (D-CA). We also want to extend special thanks to Representatives Ron Estes (R-KS), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Robert Scott (D-VA) for driving our bill through the House Education and Workforce Committee and the House.

 Since 1934, JOM has provided funding for supplemental educational programming for American Indian and Alaskan Native students in public schools across America. The money appropriated by Congress has provided school supplies, cultural activities and other enrichment for Native students through tribal organizations, school districts, and other partner organizations in public schools – where more than 90 percent of Native students attend school.

 It should also be noted that there have been no formal changes to the rules and regulations governing the operation of JOM since the 1970s, nor have there been any substantive change to the ancestral or tribal membership criterion used since 1986 to determine student eligibility for JOM. NJOMA is especially pleased that the Modernization Act will:

  1. Enable NJOMA and other JOM stakeholders to work with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) in modernizing the program’s existing rules and regulations to provide improved guidance to JOM contractors and enhanced educational experiences for our students.
  2. End the denial of JOM services to thousands of Indian and Alaskan Native students whose schools and school districts have been unable to join the program since 1996.
  3. Continue the time-honored recognition of tribal sovereignty and self-determination of tribal membership, and the respect of federal treaty rights.
  4. Allow for an in-depth study and assessment of the true costs and economics of providing 21st century quality services and academic activities for Indian and Alaskan Native children that will prepare our students for participation in the global economy.    

November 2, 2018 -- Update provided by Steve Pruitt, Watts Partners

The JOM bill is currently pending before the House Education and Workforce Committee and is one of several bills related to Native educational concerns that the Committee is expected to approve for inclusion in a  package of measures that it will ask House Leadership to move forward in upcoming Lame Duck session of the Congress. A final decision on which bills will be part of the Committee's Lame Duck package is expected the second week of November,  following the November 6 Congressional elections. JOM has been in contact with our House Sponsors urging them to collectively speak to the House Committee's Republican and Democratic leaders to urge that the J0M bill be voted on during the Lame Duck. A special appeal was also made to attendees at the recently held NIEA Annual meeting asking those in attendance to also contact their local Members of Congress on behalf of moving the JOM bill.

August 13, 2018 -- JOM CALL TO ACTION - Pass the JOM Modernization Act NOW!

On March 22, 2018 the US Senate passed S. 943, the Johnson O’Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act by Voice Vote.  The bill was then referred to the US House of Representatives and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.  Since that move, it is our understanding that the bill has been reviewed for compliance with House rules and is undergoing preparation for possible consideration in the Full House on the weekly Suspensions Calendar.  To show solid support in the House for JOM, the historic sponsors of our bill in the House (Reps. Tom Cole, Betty McCollum, Don Young, Jared Huffman and Raul Grijalva) introduced an identical language version of the Senate passed bill (H.R. 6185) which was also referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

NJOMA urged the Committee and Congressional Leadership to move S. 943 (as approved by the Senate) to a vote of the full House prior to the current August Congressional recess.  Unfortunately, due to the press of other legislative business, the JOM bill did not make to the list of “must do” legislative items acted on in the House before they left the Capitol.  Congress is scheduled to return to Washington on September 4 and is scheduled to meet 11 days for legislative business before taking their leave in early October for the November 6 Congressional elections.  Enacting S. 943 before Congress adjourns for the elections is critical to the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and JOM communities the ability to have the necessary infrastructure in place to complete a new “eligible student count”.  S. 943 requires BIE and a “Stakeholders Working Group” to complete several tasks related to updating JOM’s Regulations to facilitate the student count-tribal enrollment reconciliation and new contractor engagement processes required in the bill.  NJOMA also needs time during the school-year to conduct a series of needed training sessions for existing and potential new JOM contractors on how to operate the program under the new JOM program’s activity metrics.  Pushing S. 943 to after the November 6 elections will result in JOM experiencing a 22nd year without a true count of the eligible students, and delay efforts to implement expanded activities for all eligible students.

Needed Actions by JOM Programs
Each JOM program is asked to make telephone calls to offices of Representatives to Congress starting August 27 to urge the Members to voice their support of S. 943 to members of the House Leadership and Representative Virginia Foxx, R-NC (Chair) and Robert “Bobby” Scott, D-VA (Ranking Member) of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Members of the House Education and Workforce Committee and your local Member of Congress.   

Telephone Message
My name is __________.
I am a Member of the _________ Tribe/Nation and a participant in the Johnson O’Malley program.
I am calling today to urge Representative _______ to support passage of S. 943, the Johnson O’Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act by the House of Representatives before they break for the November 6th elections.
I want to urge Representative _________ to:

Write to House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Foxx and Ranking Member Scott expressing their support for passage of S. 943 from the House Suspensions Calendar.
Issue a Press Release and “post” the release and letter on your website so I and others can see their support for moving the bill.
Vote YES on the bill when it is presented to the House of Representatives.

I want to Thank Representative ______ in advance for their support of the Johnson O’Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act.

Key Contacts [Call All Representatives]
Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC)  202-225-2071
Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) 202-225-8351
Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) 202-225- 2915
Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) 202-225-4131

[Pick Three to Call]
Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) 202-225-5672
Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) 202-225-6276
Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN) 202-225-5037
Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) 202-225-2476
Representative Jason Lewis (R-MN) 202-225-2271
Representative Drew Ferguson (R-GA) 202-225-5901
Representative Tom Garrett, Jr. (R-VA) 202-225-4711
Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) 202-225-2161
Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) 202-225-7032
Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) 202-225-0855
Representative Susan A. Davis (D-CA) 202-225-2040
Representative Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL) 202-225-4506
Representative Mark Takano (D-CA) 202-225-2305
Representative Alma S. Adams (D-NC) 202-225-1510
Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) 202-225-4165
Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) 202-225-5456

How to Find Your Local Representative
Go to:
See FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE (upper right-hand side of website)

The bill requires the Department of the Interior to annually update the count of Indian students eligible for the Johnson-O'Malley Program (JOM Program).  The JOM Program awards contracts to tribal organizations, schools, states, and others to support the cultural and academic needs of Indian students.  The contract amounts are based on the number of students served.

Contracting parties must annually report to Interior on the number of students they serve.  If they fail to submit the report, then Interior may not give them program funds for the next fiscal year.

The bill sets forth a process to revise funding allocations provided under the program.

Interior must consult with Indian tribes and state and local education agencies that have not participated in the program to determine their interest in entering into contracts.

The Bureau of Indian Education must determine how: (1) the regulatory definition of eligible students may be clarified for contracting parties, and (2) the program funding formula may be updated to ensure the full participation of contracting parties and provide clarity on the funding process.

Legislative Information

Current Updates:

As presented by Steve Pruitt, Managing Partner of Watts Partners during the 2019 National Johnson-O'Malley Association's annual conference in Las Vegas, NV on March 4, 2019

Maureen Lesky

Program Manager

Office of Sovereignty in Indian Education

Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)

1011 Indian School Road NW, Suite 332

Albuquerque, NM 87104



Modernization Act

December 31, 2018 -- President Donald Trump signed S. 943, the Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act into Public Law No: 115-404!

On October 5, 2017, Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs announced the committee's passage of S. 943, the Johnson-O'Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act.  

Understanding the JOM

Angela Barnett

Program Specialist, JOM

Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)

20 NW 4th Street, Suite 4049

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

405-605-6051 ext. 302


Bureau of Indian Education Contacts