Proposal for a new Native Youth Initiative

The U.S. Department of Education is planning a new program called the Native Youth Initiative.  Below is some information about the proposed initiative.

Comments were solicited between October 10 and November 1 through the e-mail address tribalconsultation@ed.gov. Comments will also be welcomed this fall after the Department publishes their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which will spell out specifics about what they plan to do.  The Department hopes to have the NPRM out in about a month.

The summary of the proposal:

The Department’s pdf, which includes their 17 questions about their proposal, is available at http://www.edtribalconsultations.org/documents/NativeYouthConsultation.pdf.  A letter to tribal governments about the proposal is also available at http://www.edtribalconsultations.org/documents/Letter-ConsultationonNativeYouthInitiative.pdf.

The proposed Native Youth Initiative is intended to address the lagging NAEP student proficiency and graduation rates of American Indian and Alaska Native students.

They propose to change the current early childhood education and postsecondary preparation priorities under ESEA Title VII Demonstration and Professional Development Grants and consolidate the expected $3 million in available new funds for the two programs in order to fund “culturally relevant strategies to improve education and life outcomes based on tribal determination and to support coordinated community approaches for intervention strategies”.  They also propose to reallocate School Improvement Grants to fund technical assistance and to look at “other discretionary funds” for additional support.

The proposal has three components:

  1. Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
  2. Focused Interventions to Improve Youth Outcomes
  3. A More Comprehensive Approach in FY16.

The objective of the Initiative is to “support tribal communities in developing a comprehensive approach to college and career readiness”.  Eligible entities would include tribes and Native organizations, BIE schools, Tribal Colleges, states, and school districts.  Applicants would be expected to assess existing local efforts, barriers, and successes, select one or more barriers to focus on, and identify strategies to address the barrier(s) with clear and measureable objectives.

Please contact Karen McCarthy for more information at 202-224-6665 or by email at karen_mccarthy@murkowski.senate.gov