Rounds Applauds Passage of his Native American Education Amendment
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today applauded the passage of an amendment he offered with U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) to improve education of Native American students. The amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act, which is currently being debated on the Senate floor, addresses low graduation rates at tribal schools and seeks to improve the quality of education in Indian Country, especially in rural and high poverty areas.
“The fact that there are tribal schools in this country with graduation rates below 40 percent is unacceptable,” said Rounds. “A strong education system in Indian Country is crucial for Native American students. Our amendment lays a foundation to fix the systemic education problems facing students in Indian Country, not only in South Dakota but throughout the nation. I am pleased that it received broad bipartisan support in the Senate.”
Rounds’ amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act directs the Department of the Interior and the Department of Education to conduct a study in rural and poverty areas of Indian Country to:
- Identify federal barriers that restrict tribes from implementing common-sense regional policies instead of one-size fits all policies directed from Washington;
- Identify recruitment and retention options for teachers and school administrators;
- Identify the limitations in funding sources and flexibility for such schools; and
- Provide strategies on how to increase high school graduation rates.