American Indian Education




The mission of the State Advisory Council on Indian Education is to create a system that engages state policy leaders, public school personnel, parents, tribal leaders and communities in providing educational experiences and cultural opportunities that promote high expectations and accountability for the academic achievement of American Indian students, thus preparing students for success in a globally competitive environment.



Every American Indian student in North Carolina will graduate from academically rigorous and culturally relevant high schools as well-prepared lifelong learners globally competitive for work and postsecondary education.

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The Every Student Succeeds Act is the latest reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act and was approved by the U.S. Congress in December 2015. This law provides significant federal support for programs to serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade and replaces the No Child Left Behind law of 2002.

The National Indian Education Association has provided an update on Native issues in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Tribal & State Policy Associate, Dimple Patel provided the summary on behalf of NIEA. Some highlights from the video about Native education in ESSA include:

  • The U.S. Secretary of Interior is authorized to determine the standards, assessments, and accountability systems for schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education.

  • Through the State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program, tribal education agencies are authorized to coordinate and collaborate with states in order to meet culturally related academic needs of Indian students.

  • States are required to engage in meaningful consultation with tribes in the development of state plans for Title I grants, which serve disadvantaged students. Local districts must also consult with appropriate officials from tribes or local tribal organizations before the local educational agency submits an application for a covered program under ESSA.

Video Summary of Native Education in ESSA 

Indian Education Formula Grants (Title VI)

The U.S. Department of Education programs funds the Indian Education Formula Grant (Title VI). It supports the efforts of school districts, Indian tribes and organizations, postsecondary institutions, and other groups to meet the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students. These efforts help them meet the same challenging state academic standards as all other students.


The State Advisory Council on Indian Education was established to identify issues and concerns that affect academic achievement of American Indian students. Council members have spent a great deal of time studying the yearly data collected on academic achievement and dropout rates.  This keeps them abreast of education policy issues at the local, state, and national levels, and working closely with tribal leadership in American Indian communities. As an outcome, the Council has devised a report that strives to address relevant concerns pertaining to the education of American Indian students.  In addition, they provide appropriate recommendations to the State Board of Education. Each year, the Council focuses its efforts on dropout data and academic achievement.