Johnson-O'Malley Act

Johnson-O'Malley Act

Before 1930, American Indian children were primarily educated in boarding schools that could be near their homes or miles away. On April 16, 1934, Congress passed the Johnson O’Malley Act, which provided funds for American Indian children to attend public schools and gave their parents a voice in their schooling. In the 1935-1936 school year, 1,010 American Indian children attended Arizona public schools, and funding provided by the Johnson-O’Malley Act continues to support educational programs for American Indian students today (Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1934-1936).

Read About It

Use the document analysis sheet and the photograph analysis sheet to uncover clues about the people that created the documents. 

Understand It

  1. When was the Johnson-O'Malley Act approved? Was it immediately popular?
  2. Who created the documents linked above? Why? How do you think they viewed their American Indian students?
  3. Is the Johnson-O'Malley Act a successful program? Why or why not? 


Politics and Reform