Washington, D.C.- Yatibaey Evans, the President of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) issued the following statement today regarding the rollback of the stakeholder engagement guidelines in the new application for states to use in developing their accountability plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
"NIEA is greatly disappointed that one of the key provisions of ESSA, community and parent engagement in school plans, has been eliminated from the template the Department of Education has suggested states use. With over 90% of Native students attending public schools, it is vital that Native voices are heard in the public school system.
This conspicuous absence not only risks undermining tribal leaders and Native communities in the development of state plans, but also risks destabilizing the efforts of states such as North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Alaska who have been diligently working to ensure that all are at the table.
NIEA will redouble our efforts to work with states with steadfast commitment to the language and intent of ESSA, which require timely and meaningful tribal consultation in state plans and the local consultation required of school districts.
We appreciate those states who have showed leadership and look forward to working with tribal leaders and Native communities on behalf of Native students in states across the country to make sure Native voices are at the table when decisions are made."
For immediate assistance or questions, please contact Matt deFerranti, Legislative Director, at (202) 544-7290 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The National Indian Education Association (NIEA)
NIEA is the Nation's most inclusive advocacy organization advancing comprehensive culture-based educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Formed by Native educators in 1969 to encourage a national discourse on education, NIEA adheres to the organization's founding principles- to convene educators to explore ways to improve schools and the educational systems serving Native children; to promote the maintenance and continued development of language and cultural programs; and to develop and implement strategies for influencing local, state, and federal policy and decision makers. For more information visit www.niea.org.