Maui News

Akaka Introduces Bill to Improve Native Education

June 23, 2011, 1:39 PM HST
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By Wendy Osher

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka., Image courtesy Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), today introduced a bill to improve education for Native people.

“In many regions of our country, Native students suffer from the lowest graduation rates and poorest academic performance,” said Sen. Akaka, Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs.

Sen. Akaka said the bill outlines a new vision of education built on Native priorities.  “As a former teacher, principal and administrator, I know the power that integrating culture and increasing access to opportunities can have in improving outcomes for our Native students,” said Sen. Akaka.  “To build a successful future for our Native communities, we must start with success in our schools,” he said.

The Native CLASS Act (S. 1262) contains a set of provisions that address language and culture-based education, local control and parental involvement, and teacher training and development.

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The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tim Johnson (D-North Dakota) and fellow U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawai’i.

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*** Supporting information courtesy Office of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka.

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