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H.R. 4214 (113th): Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 12, 2014 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4214

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 12, 2014

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce

A BILL

To promote the academic achievement of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children with the establishment of a Native American language grant program.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act .

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Congress established the unique status of Native American languages and distinctive policies supporting their use as a medium of education in the Native American Languages Act ( Public Law 101–477 ).

(2)

Reports from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal, public, charter, and private schools and colleges that use primarily Native American languages to deliver education, have indicated that students from these schools have generally had high school graduation and college attendance rates above the norm for their peers.

(3)

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) includes policy barriers to schools taught through Native American languages and a lack of adequate funding to support such opportunities.

(4)

There is a critical need that requires immediate action to support education through Native American languages to preserve these languages.

3.

Native American language schools

Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

D

Native American language schools

7401.

Native American language schools

(a)

Purposes

The purposes of this section are—

(1)

to establish a grant program to support schools using Native American languages as the primary language of instruction of all curriculum taught at the school that will improve high school graduation rates, college attainment, and career readiness; and

(2)

to further integrate into this Act, Federal policy for such schools, as established in the Native American Languages Act ( Public Law 101–477 ).

(b)

Program authorized

(1)

In general

From the amounts made available to carry out this section, the Secretary may award grants to eligible entities to develop and maintain, or to improve and expand, programs that support schools, including prekindergarten through postsecondary education, using Native American languages as the primary language of instruction of all curriculum taught at the schools.

(2)

Eligible entities

In this section, the term eligible entity means a school or a private or tribal, nonprofit organization that has a plan to develop and maintain, or to improve and expand, programs that support schools using Native American languages as the primary language of instruction of all curriculum taught at the schools.

(c)

Application

(1)

In general

An eligible entity that desires to receive a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including the following:

(A)

The name of the Native American language to be used for instruction at the school supported by the eligible entity.

(B)

The number of students attending such school.

(C)

The number of present hours of Native American language instruction being provided to students at such school, if any.

(D)

The status of such school with regard to any applicable tribal education department or agency, public education system, indigenous language schooling research and cooperative, or accrediting body.

(E)

A statement that such school—

(i)

is engaged in meeting targeted proficiency levels for students, as may be required by applicable Federal, State, or tribal law; and

(ii)

provides assessments of student using the Native American language of instruction, where appropriate.

(F)

A list of the instructors, staff, administrators, contractors, or subcontractors at such school and their qualifications to deliver high quality education through the Native American language of the school.

(2)

Additional application materials

In addition to the application described in paragraph (1), an eligible entity that desires to receive a grant under this section shall submit to the Secretary the following:

(A)

A certification from a Federally recognized Indian tribe, or a letter from any Native American entity, on whose land the school supported by the eligible entity is located, or which is served by such school, indicating that the school has the capacity to provide education primarily through a Native American language and that there are sufficient speakers of such Native American language at the school or available to be hired by the school.

(B)

A statement that such school will participate in data collection conducted by the Secretary that will determine best practices and further academic evaluation of the school.

(C)

A demonstration of the capacity to have speakers of its Native American language provide the basic education offered by such school on a full-time basis.

(d)

Awarding of grants

In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall—

(1)

determine the amount and length of each grant;

(2)

ensure, to the maximum extent feasible, that diversity in languages is represented; and

(3)

require the eligible entities to present a Native language education plan to improve high school graduation rates, college attainment, and career readiness.

(e)

Activities authorized

An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall carry out the following activities:

(1)

Support Native American language education and development.

(2)

Develop or refine instructional curriculum for the school supported by the eligible entity, including distinctive teaching materials and activities, as appropriate.

(3)

Fund training opportunities for teachers and, as appropriate, staff and administrators, that would strengthen the overall language and academic goals of such school.

(4)

Other activities that promote Native American language education and development, as appropriate.

(f)

Report to secretary

Each eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall provide an annual report to the Secretary in such form and manner as the Secretary may require.

(g)

Authorization of appropriation

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2015, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

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