U.S Code last checked for updates: May 17, 2024
§ 2001.
Accreditation for the basic education of Indian children in Bureau of Indian Affairs schools
(a)
Purpose; declarations of purpose
(1)
Purpose
(2)
Declarations of purpose
(b)
Accreditation
(1)
Deadline
(A)
In general
Not later than 24 months after January 8, 2002, each Bureau-funded school shall, to the extent that necessary funds are provided, be a candidate for accreditation or be accredited—
(i)
by a tribal accrediting body, if the accreditation standards of the tribal accrediting body have been accepted by formal action of the tribal governing body and such accreditation is acknowledged by a generally recognized State certification or regional accrediting agency;
(ii)
by a regional accreditation agency;
(iii)
by State accreditation standards for the State in which the Bureau-funded school is located; or
(iv)
in the case of a Bureau-funded school that is located on a reservation that is located in more than one State, in accordance with the State accreditation standards of one State as selected by the tribal government.
(B)
Feasibility study
Not later than 12 months after January 8, 2002, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Education shall, in consultation with Indian tribes, Indian education organizations, and accrediting agencies, develop and submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the desirability and feasibility of establishing a tribal accreditation agency that would—
(i)
review and acknowledge the accreditation standards for Bureau-funded schools; and
(ii)
establish accreditation procedures to facilitate the application, review of the standards and review processes, and recognition of qualified and credible tribal departments of education as accrediting bodies serving tribal schools.
(2)
Determination of accreditation to be applied
(3)
Assistance to school boards
(A)
In general
(B)
Entities through which assistance may be provided
(4)
Application of current standards during accreditation
(5)
Annual report on unaccredited schools
Not later than 90 days after the end of each school year, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Indian Affairs, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, a report concerning unaccredited Bureau-funded schools that—
(A)
identifies those Bureau-funded schools that fail to be accredited or to be candidates for accreditation within the period provided for in paragraph (1);
(B)
with respect to each Bureau-funded school identified under subparagraph (A), identifies the reasons that each such school is not accredited or a candidate for accreditation, as determined by the appropriate accreditation agency, and a description of any possible way in which to remedy such nonaccreditation; and
(C)
with respect to each Bureau-funded school for which the reported reasons for the lack of accreditation under subparagraph (B) are a result of the school’s inadequate basic resources, contains information and funding requests for the full funding needed to provide such schools with accreditation, such funds if provided shall be applied to such unaccredited school under this paragraph.
(6)
Opportunity to review and present evidence
(A)
In general
Prior to including a Bureau-funded school in an annual report required under paragraph (5), the Secretary shall—
(i)
ensure that the school has exhausted all administrative remedies provided by the accreditation agency; and
(ii)
provide the school with an opportunity to review the data on which such inclusion is based.
(B)
Provision of additional information
(C)
Publication of accreditation status
(7)
School plan
(A)
In general
Not later than 120 days after the date on which a school is included in an annual report under paragraph (5), the school shall develop a school plan, in consultation with interested parties including parents, school staff, the school board, and other outside experts (if appropriate), that shall be submitted to the Secretary for approval. The school plan shall cover a 3-year period and shall—
(i)
incorporate strategies that address the specific issues that caused the school to fail to be accredited or fail to be a candidate for accreditation;
(ii)
incorporate policies and practices concerning the school that have the greatest likelihood of ensuring that the school will obtain accreditation during the 3-year period beginning on the date on which the plan is implemented;
(iii)
contain an assurance that the school will reserve the necessary funds, from the funds described in paragraph (3), for each fiscal year for the purpose of obtaining accreditation;
(iv)
specify how the funds described in clause (iii) will be used to obtain accreditation;
(v)
establish specific annual, objective goals for measuring continuous and significant progress made by the school in a manner that will ensure the accreditation of the school within the 3-year period described in clause (ii);
(vi)
identify how the school will provide written notification about the lack of accreditation to the parents of each student enrolled in such school, in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand; and
(vii)
specify the responsibilities of the school board and any assistance to be provided by the Secretary under paragraph (3).
(B)
Implementation
(C)
Review of plan
Not later than 45 days after receiving a school plan, the Secretary shall—
(i)
establish a peer-review process to assist with the review of the plan; and
(ii)
promptly review the school plan, work with the school as necessary, and approve the school plan if the plan meets the requirements of this paragraph.
(8)
Corrective action
(A)
Definition
In this subsection, the term “corrective action” means any action that—
(i)
substantially and directly responds to—
(I)
the failure of a school to achieve accreditation; and
(II)
any underlying staffing, curriculum, or other programmatic problem in the school that contributed to the lack of accreditation; and
(ii)
is designed to increase substantially the likelihood that the school will be accredited.
(B)
Waiver
(i)
is identified in the report described in paragraph (5)(C); and
(ii)
fails to be accredited for reasons that are beyond the control of the school board, as determined by the Secretary, including, but not limited to—
(I)
a significant decline in financial resources;
(II)
the poor condition of facilities, vehicles, or other property; and
(III)
a natural disaster.
(C)
Duties of Secretary
After providing assistance to a school under paragraph (3), the Secretary shall—
(i)
annually review the progress of the school under the applicable school plan to determine whether the school is meeting, or making adequate progress toward achieving the goals described in paragraph (7)(A)(v) with respect to reaccreditation or becoming a candidate for accreditation;
(ii)
except as provided in subparagraph (B), continue to provide assistance while implementing the school’s plan, and, if determined appropriate by the Secretary, take corrective action with respect to the school if it fails to be accredited at the end of the third full year immediately following the date that the school’s plan was first in effect under paragraph (7);
(iii)
provide all students enrolled in a school that is eligible for a corrective action determination by the Secretary under clause (ii) with the option to transfer to another public or Bureau-funded school, including a public charter school, that is accredited;
(iv)
promptly notify the parents of children enrolled in a school that is eligible for a corrective action determination by the Secretary under clause (ii) of the option to transfer their child to another public or Bureau-funded school; and
(v)
provide, or pay for the provision of, transportation for each student described in clause (iii) to the school described in clause (iii) to which the student elects to be transferred to the extent funds are available, as determined by the tribal governing body.
(D)
Failure of school plan of Bureau-operated school
With respect to a Bureau-operated school that fails to be accredited at the end of the third full year immediately following the date that the school’s plan was first in effect under paragraph (7), the Secretary may take one or more of the following corrective actions:
(i)
Institute and fully implement actions suggested by the accrediting agency.
(ii)
Consult with the tribe involved to determine the causes for the lack of accreditation including potential staffing and administrative changes that are or may be necessary.
(iii)
Set aside a certain amount of funds that may only be used by the school to obtain accreditation.
(iv)
(I)
Provide the tribe with a 60-day period during which to determine whether the tribe desires to operate the school as a contract or grant school before meeting the accreditation requirements in section 5207(c) of the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988 1 at the beginning of the next school year following the determination to take corrective action. If the tribe agrees to operate the school as a contract or grant school, the tribe shall prepare a plan, pursuant to paragraph (7), for approval by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (7), to achieve accreditation.
(II)
If the tribe declines to assume control of the school, the Secretary, in consultation with the tribe, may contract with an outside entity, consistent with applicable law, or appoint a receiver or trustee to operate and administer the affairs of the school until the school is accredited. The outside entity, receiver, or trustee shall prepare a plan, pursuant to paragraph (7), for approval by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (7).
(III)
Upon accreditation of the school, the Secretary shall allow the tribe to continue to operate the school as a grant or contract school, or if the school is being controlled by an outside entity, provide the tribe with the option to assume operation of the school as a contract school, in accordance with the Indian Self-Determination Act [25 U.S.C. 5321 et seq.], or as a grant school in accordance with the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988 [25 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.], at the beginning of the school year following the school year in which the school obtains accreditation. If the tribe declines, the Secretary may allow the outside entity, receiver, or trustee to continue the operation of the school or reassume control of the school.
(E)
Failure of school plan of contract or grant school
(i)
Corrective action
(ii)
Outside entity
If the corrective action described in clause (i) does not result in accreditation of the school, the Secretary, in conjunction with the tribal governing body, may contract with an outside entity to operate the school in order to achieve accreditation of the school within 2 school years. Prior to entering into such a contract, the Secretary shall develop a proposal for such operation which shall include, at a minimum, the following elements:
(I)
The identification of one or more outside entities each of which has demonstrated to the Secretary its ability to develop a satisfactory plan for achieving accreditation and its willingness and availability to undertake such a plan.
(II)
A plan for implementing operation of the school by such an outside entity, including the methodology for oversight and evaluation of the performance of the outside entity by the Secretary and the tribe.
(iii)
Proposal amendments
(iv)
Accreditation
(v)
Retrocede
(vi)
Consistent
(F)
Hearing
(9)
Statutory construction
(10)
Fiscal control and fund accounting standards
(c)
Annual plan
(1)
In general
(2)
Plan
(d)
Closure or consolidation of schools
(1)
In general
Except as specifically required by law—
(A)
no Bureau-funded school or dormitory operated on or after January 1, 1992, may be closed, consolidated, or transferred to another authority; and
(B)
no program of such a school may be substantially curtailed except in accordance with the requirements of this subsection.
(2)
Exceptions
This subsection (other than this paragraph) shall not apply—
(A)
in those cases in which the tribal governing body for a school, or the local school board concerned (if designated by the tribal governing body to act under this paragraph), requests the closure, consolidation, or substantial curtailment; or
(B)
if a temporary closure, consolidation, or substantial curtailment is required by facility conditions that constitute an immediate hazard to health and safety.
(3)
Regulations
(4)
Notice
(A)
In general
(B)
Decision to close
(C)
Copies
Copies of any such notices and information shall be—
(i)
submitted promptly to the appropriate committees of Congress; and
(ii)
published in the Federal Register.
(5)
Report
The Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress, the affected tribe, and the designated school board, a report describing the process of the active consideration or review referred to in paragraph (4) that includes—
(A)
a study of the impact of such action on the student population;
(B)
a description of those students with particular educational and social needs;
(C)
recommendations to ensure that alternative services are available to such students; and
(D)
a description of the consultation conducted between the potential service provider, current service provider, parents, tribal representatives and the tribe or tribes involved, and the Director of the Office of Indian Education Programs within the Bureau regarding such students.
(6)
Limitation on certain actions
(7)
Approval of Indian tribes
(e)
Application for contracts or grants for non-Bureau-funded schools or expansion of Bureau-funded schools
(1)
Review by Secretary
(A)
Consideration of factors
(i)
In general
The Secretary shall consider only the factors described in subparagraph (B) in reviewing—
(I)
applications from any tribe for the awarding of a contract or grant for a school that is not a Bureau-funded school; and
(II)
applications from any tribe or school board of any Bureau-funded school for—
(aa)
a school which is not a Bureau-funded school; or
(bb)
the expansion of a Bureau-funded school which would increase the amount of funds received by the Indian tribe or school board under section 2007 of this title.
(ii)
No denial based on geographic proximity
(B)
Factors
With respect to applications described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider the following factors relating to the program and services that are the subject of the application:
(i)
The adequacy of the facilities or the potential to obtain or provide adequate facilities.
(ii)
Geographic and demographic factors in the affected areas.
(iii)
The adequacy of the applicant’s program plans or, in the case of a Bureau-funded school, of projected needs analysis done either by the tribe or the Bureau.
(iv)
Geographic proximity of comparable public education.
(v)
The stated needs of all affected parties, including students, families, tribal governments at both the central and local levels, and school organizations.
(vi)
Adequacy and comparability of programs already available.
(vii)
Consistency of available programs with tribal educational codes or tribal legislation on education.
(viii)
The history and success of those services for the proposed population to be served, as determined from all factors, including standardized examination performance.
(2)
Determination on application
(A)
In general
(B)
Failure to make determination
(3)
Requirements for applications
(A)
In general
Notwithstanding paragraph (2)(B), an application described in paragraph (1)(A) may be approved by the Secretary only if—
(i)
the application has been approved by the tribal governing body of the students served by (or to be served by) the school or program that is the subject of the application; and
(ii)
written evidence of such approval is submitted with the application.
(B)
Included information
(4)
Denial of applications
If the Secretary denies an application described in paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary shall—
(A)
state the objections to the application in writing to the applicant not later than 180 days after the date the application is submitted to the Secretary;
(B)
provide assistance to the applicant to overcome the stated objections;
(C)
provide to the applicant a hearing on the record regarding the denial, under the same rules and regulations as apply under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act [25 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.]; and
(D)
provide to the applicant a notice of the applicant’s appeals rights and an opportunity to appeal the decision resulting from the hearing under subparagraph (D).
(5)
Effective date of a subject application
(A)
In general
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, an action that is the subject of any application described in paragraph (1)(A) that is approved by the Secretary shall become effective—
(i)
at the beginning of the academic year following the fiscal year in which the application is approved; or
(ii)
at an earlier date determined by the Secretary.
(B)
Applications deemed approved
If an application is deemed to have been approved by the Secretary under paragraph (2)(B), the action that is the subject of the application shall become effective—
(i)
on the date that is 18 months after the date on which the application is submitted to the Secretary; or
(ii)
at an earlier date determined by the Secretary.
(6)
Statutory construction
(f)
Joint administration
(g)
General use of funds
(h)
Study on adequacy of funds and formulas
(1)
Study
(2)
Action
(Pub. L. 95–561, title XI, § 1121, as added Pub. L. 107–110, title X, § 1042, Jan. 8, 2002, 115 Stat. 2007; amended Pub. L. 109–54, title I, § 127, Aug. 2, 2005, 119 Stat. 525.)
cite as: 25 USC 2001