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Secretary DeVos Launches New Grant Competition to Promote Education Choice for Native American Students

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today a $15 million grant competition to promote tribally-directed education choice for Native American students. The Accessing Choices in Education (ACE) grants will allow tribes, or other education entities partnering with tribes, to set up a variety of education options and services from which parents or students can choose.

“This pandemic has made very clear that education needs to be more adaptable and student-centered,” said Secretary DeVos. “Tragically, too many Native American students lack access to a high quality education option that meets their unique needs. The ACE grant program helps to accomplish this for Native American families in two ways. First, it respects tribal sovereignty by empowering tribes to select the range of resources to offer students including things like tutoring, educational or technology supplies, and Native language, history or culture courses. In turn, parents and students are then empowered to select the resources that are the right fit for them. I look forward to seeing how this unique program impacts the long-term success of Native American students.” 

An ACE proposal must include more than one education option from which parents and students may choose, including: advanced, remedial, or elective courses (including online); apprenticeships or training programs; concurrent or dual enrollment options; native language, history, or culture courses; supplemental counseling services; tuition; summer or afterschool education programs, and student transportation needed for those specific programs; and many other education-related services that the tribe determines are needed in its community.

Additionally, grantees will be required to set up a parent feedback process and respond to parent requests for specific services not already offered throughout project implementation. The ACE grants cover three years, with an additional two years of support available if the project is achieving objectives. Grantees may use up to the first year of the grant for planning needs, such as hiring personnel, securing service providers for options provided to students, and developing a method to collect parent feedback.

For more information about this grant competition, pre-application technical assistance webinar opportunities, or if you would like information about becoming a peer reviewer, please email Bianca Williams at [email protected] or visit http://oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-indian-education/demonstration-grants-for-indian-children/.

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