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CONTACT: Nedra Darling

Secretary Norton and Assistant Secretary Anderson Announce BIA Schools to Receive $32.4 Million Under No Child Left Behind Act

Education Department funds will go towards improving student reading,
school performance and teacher quality starting in FY 2004


WASHINGTON - Secretary Gale Norton and Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs David W. Anderson today announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been awarded $32.4 million in three grants from the U.S. Department of Education to improve student reading, school performance and teacher quality in BIA-funded schools under President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Starting this year, over 12,000 students will benefit from funds to help them improve their academic performance and support their institutions' efforts to achieve adequate yearly progress as stipulated by the act.

"The No Child Left Behind Act is the president's commitment that all federally funded schools must provide students with a quality education," Norton said. "BIA students and parents can expect that our schools also will carry forward that vision."

"I can think of no better initiatives in our schools than the Reading First program to instill a love of reading in the youngest students, the Improving Basics program for those schools working hard to meet their progress goals and the Improving Teacher Quality program to challenge our teachers to become the best they can be," Anderson said. "Through these programs, our schools now have a chance to realize President Bush's vision for themselves and their students."

Last November, the BIA was awarded $30.4 million for a six-year grant under the Reading First program, the centerpiece of President Bush's historic education reform law, to use scientifically proven instruction methods to improve reading proficiency by BIA students in grades K-3. The Reading First program reflects the president's emphasis on the importance of reading to student academic achievement.

Today, the BIA is releasing the first installments of these funds to 22 eligible schools under three-year subgrants. They can apply again with other schools during a second round of the competitive process for a shot at another three-year funding award. In fiscal year 2004, BIA-funded schools will receive Reading First subgrants ranging from $97,170 to $417,000 depending on a school's needs, number of students served and design of its reading program.

In addition, the BIA was awarded $1.5 million under Title I, Part A of the act to provide subgrants for technical assistance and training to schools in need of improvement. In fiscal year 2004, at least 21 BIA-funded schools will receive Improving Basics subgrants of up to $115,143 to help them meet student academic achievement standards, assist teachers to enable low-performing students to meet challenging standards, provide services to children with limited English proficiency or disabilities, help meet highly qualified teacher requirements and to encourage greater parent involvement and professional development.

The No Child Left Behind Act supports having highly qualified teachers in the classroom as essential to increasing student academic achievement. Under Title II, Part A of the act, the BIA has received $359,054 to provide Improving Teacher Quality subgrants to aid schools in teacher development and mentoring. In fiscal year 2004, at least 16 schools will receive subgrants of up to $30,000 with funding amounts based on student population.

The Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs has responsibility for fulfilling the department's trust responsibilities to individual and tribal trust beneficiaries, as well as promoting tribal self-determination, self-governance and economic development for the nation's 562 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and their 1.8 million members.

The Assistant Secretary also oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the 180-year old agency that provides services to individual American Indians and Alaska Natives from the federally recognized tribes, and the BIA school system. The school system serves approximately 48,000 American Indian children in 184 elementary and secondary day and boarding schools located on or near 63 reservations in 23 states. In school year 2002-2003, the BIA directly operated one-third of these schools and the remaining two-thirds were tribally operated under BIA contracts or grants.

Note to Editors: Lists of funded schools accompany this press release and may be viewed via the Department's website at


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