U.S. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AWARDS NEARLY $2 MILLION TO TRIBAL EDUCATION AGENCIES TO IMPROVE EDUCATION FOR AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE STUDENTS

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U.S.
Department of Education

Office
of Communications & Outreach, Press Office

400
Maryland Ave., S.W.

Washington,
D.C. 20202

 

FOR
RELEASE

October
5, 2012

The
U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of four competitive
grants totaling nearly $2 million to tribal education agencies (TEAs), under
the State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program.  These grants will
help to increase the role of TEAs in the education of American Indian and
Alaska Native students to meet the unique educational and cultural needs of
those students and to improve their academic achievement.

“We have a profound
obligation to ensure that all children, including American Indian and Alaska
Native students, have the opportunity to receive a 21st century education,”
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “Tribal leaders, teachers,
and parents are best-suited to identify and address the needs of their
children, and tribal communities deserve to play a greater role in providing
American Indian and Alaska Native students with the tools and support they need
to be successful in school and beyond.”

During
regional tribal consultations, tribal officials consistently discussed the lack
of opportunities for tribes to meaningfully participate in the education of
their own children. Drawing from input received at these consultations,
the Obama administration included in its Elementary and Secondary Education Act
reauthorization proposal a pilot authority that would elevate the role of
TEAs. The Department’s fiscal year 2012 Congressional appropriation
provided funding for the Department to create a pilot competition to increase
the role of tribal education departments in the education of students attending
public schools on the tribe’s reservation. 

The
STEP program aims to promote collaboration between TEAs and state educational
agencies (SEAs) and to build the capacity of tribes as they develop and enhance
their roles, responsibilities and accountability in Indian education. The
pilot program will fund projects created through collaborative agreements
between TEAs and SEAs that allow for TEAs to perform some state-level functions
for certain federal grant programs funded through the ESEA, within public
schools located on tribally controlled lands. STEP grants are three-year
awards, and year one grant amounts are listed below. Grantees and their
SEA partners are:

  • Nez
    Perce Tribe, Idaho – $451,481
  • The
    Navajo Nation Diné Department of Education, New Mexico – $357,347
  • The
    Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma – $739,246
  • Confederated
    Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon – $385,436

 For
more information on the STEP pilot program, please visit here.

 

###

Contact:

Press Office, (202) 401-1576 or press@ed.gov

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