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Consultation – Bureau of Indian Education and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

September 15, 2016

The Bureau of Indian education (BIE) invites Tribal Leaders to provide input on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The ESSA was signed into law on December 10, 2015, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act.  The ESSA is scheduled to be implemented in the 2017-2018 school year.


The ESSA requires BIE, like all other state education agencies, to submit a “state plan”.  In its state plan, BIE will describe how it will implement the law, get a comprehensive picture of school success, provide support for struggling schools, offer better data for parents and communities, and develop a streamlined school improvement plan.  Under Section 8007(2) of the ESSA, BIE is required to develop regulations for implementing a new accountability system, which is one element of the BIE state plan.  This effort will be conducted via a negotiated rulemaking process.  Guidelines for making nominations for the negotiated rulemaking committee (NRC) are explained in a document available by clicking here.  The BIE has extended its deadline for nominations of qualified individuals to serve on a negotiated rulemaking committee (NRC) that will recommend revisions to its school accountability system. Nominees are being sought from federally recognized tribes whose students attend BIE-funded schools. The new deadline for nominations, a notice of which was published this month in the Federal Register, is on or before October 3, 2016.


The upcoming consultation announced here will focus on aspects other than the new BIE accountability system.  Acting BIE Director, Ms. Ann Maried Bledsoe Downes, looks forward to listening to tribes, families, teachers, administrators, and others.


A series of tribal consultations on the BIE State Plan is scheduled on October 12, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona at the 73rd Annual Convention of the National Congress of American Indians.  This first round of consultations will focus on obtaining feedback on the drafting of the BIE state plan.  A future round of consultations is planned to address the terms of a BIE State Plan once drafted with input from this first round of consultations, and may be coordinated with consultations on the draft rule on accountability written by the NRC.  Detailed information on the state plan, including tribal consultations, background, activities, schedules, and locations will be posted on the BIE website – click here to visit that website.


To see the full “Dear Tribal Leader” letter announcing the consultations discussed above, please click here.

Last modified: July 18, 2020