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The Every Student Succeeds Act will ensure tribes are involved in designing education programs that serve their communities
Murray:  “This legislation will increase tribal consultation, provide greater flexibility, more predictable funding, and a new focus on preserving tribal languages”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee applauded Senate passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the bipartisan legislation she worked on to fix No Child Left Behind. President Obama is expected to sign ESSA into law. The legislation includes several provisions specifically designed to ensure tribal students get the support they need.

“For years, I’ve heard concerns from tribal communities about not being properly consulted in the development of federal education programs under No Child Left Behind, which is why I fought to make sure their voices were heard as we wrote the next chapter in our nation’s education policy,” Sen. Murray said. “With the input of so many tribes across the country, I’m proud to say this legislation will increase tribal consultation in federal education policy, increase tribal capacity to administer education programs, provide greater flexibility, more predictable funding, and a new focus on preserving tribal languages for future generations.”

The provisions regarding tribal communities include:

    • Requiring states to consult with tribes in the development of Title I state plans.
    • Requiring school districts with a certain number of tribal students to consult with tribes in the development of various federal education programs.
    • Expanding access to various federal competitive grants for the Bureau of Indian Education.
    • Involving tribes in designing education programs that serve tribal communities and including a program to build tribal educational agency capacity to run federal education programs.
    • Strengthening and updating the Impact Aid program, which provides critical support to school districts that serve children living in tribal communities. These updates will provide speedier payments and funding stability for districts across the country.
    • Including dedicated funding to support schools that use tribal languages as the primary language of instruction. This funding will help tribes around the country preserve their tribal languages and provide culturally appropriate instruction to students.
    • Increasing funding levels over the life of the authorization for the American Indian and Alaska Native programs and the Impact Aid Program to ensure that districts receive the support they need to help students from tribal communities succeed.