The Office of Indian Education (OIE) Pre-application Webinar for the 2015 New Award Competition of State Tribal Education Partnership program (STEP) will be held on:

April 30, 2015, 2:00 to 4:00 pm EDT 

The webinar will provide important information to assist potential applicants to complete their submissions for the 2015 competition and address the same material. This webinar will be recorded and archived for a limited time. Presentation for the webinar and questions and answers generated from the webinar will be available to the public.

To Access the webinar please go to:  https://msg.adobeconnect.com/step/event/registration.html

Phone Number: 1-800-832-0736
Room Number:
6606540
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On April 16, 2015, the Department of Education published in the Federal Register a notice inviting applications for the 2015 State Tribal Education Partnerships (STEP) program. The new competition officially opened on Thursday, April 16, 2015 and will close on June 15, 2015. Notices of intent to apply must be received by May 21, 2015.

The purposes of this program are to: (1) Promote increased collaboration between tribal education agencies (TEAs) and the State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) that serve students from the affected tribes; and (2) build the capacity of TEAs to conduct certain administrative functions under certain Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) formula grant programs for eligible schools, as determined by the TEA, SEA, and LEA.

The Federal Register link to the official announcement is here:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-16/pdf/2015-08681.pdf

 For additional information on the STEP program please contact Shahla Ortega at Shahla.Ortega@Ed.Gov .

The Office of Indian Education may be found online at this link:  http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oie/index.html

With the STEP Grant being announced, this is a good time to review TEDNA and Education Northwest’s webinar on the STEP Program here.  We encourage any Tribal Education Agency or Department that is contemplating applying for the next round of STEP Grants to watch the webinar.  The PPT slides can be seen here. TEDNA’s overview of the STEP Grant can be seen here.

The Final Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria for the State Tribal Education Partnership (“STEP”) Program, can be seen here. You can see an overview on the Federal Register site, here.

Summary:

The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education announces priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for the State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program. The Assistant Secretary may use one or more of these priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for competitions in fiscal year(FY) 2015 and later years. We take this action to enable tribal educational agencies (TEAs) to administer formula grant programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), and to improve the partnership between TEAs and the State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) that educate students from the affected tribes.

You can see TEDNA’s comments on these Priorities, along with a webinar and other information about the STEP Program here.

On Tuesday evening, House and Senate appropriators released the FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill (HR 83), which will fund TEAs through Department  of Interior for the first time.

Here is the BIA section of the Interior explanatory statement. On page 24, it provides that:

Education.- The agreement includes $2,000,000 for the development and operation of tribal departments or divisions of education as authorized in 25 U.S.C. 2020.

This funding through the Department of Interior has been authorized since 1988 (see NARF Orange Book at 5), but Congress has never appropriated the money. TEDNA and its partner organizations, NIEA and NCAI, have long advocated for fulfillment of this promise. The bill, which is expected to be passed by both the House and Senate later this week, will mean new capacity-building grant opportunities for TEAs, which will expand tribal involvement in Indian education.  The STEP Program, which TEDNA long advocated for and was also a first of its kind, is a similar appropriation through the Department of Education.

You can see Quinton Roman Nose’s Testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies for FY 2015 here, and for FY 2014 here.  You can also see other budget requests in our Congressional Materials section.  We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Author Marissa Spang cover the issue of “Indigenous ways of knowing are often perceived to be contrary to STEM learning, but they are in fact powerful resources for learning. STEM instruction should be made inclusive for Indigenous students by building connections between Indigenous and Western STEM. There are a set of strategies teachers can use to intentionally incorporate indigenous ways of knowing into STEM learning environments—both in and out of school and in relation to family and community.”

Why It Matters To You

  • Teachers should focus on Indigenous ways of knowing & encourage Indigenous students to navigate between Indigenous & Western STEM.
  • District staff and PD providers should build relationships with Indigenous communities they serve and focus PD on Indigenous STEM, including relations to land.
  • School leaders need to recognize what it looks like for Indigenous students to learn western & Indigenous STEM and ensure approaches are adopted.

Things to Think About

  • How can you change your instruction to “center” it on Indigenous ways of knowing?
  • Who are partners (parents, teachers, systems leaders, students, organizations) that can help you center Indigenous ways of knowing? How can they help your students navigate multiple ways of knowing?
  • Where are some places you can take students to strengthen their connections to their territories and localize knowledge and learning?

To view the entire article, click here.

The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education proposes priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for the State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program. The Assistant Secretary may use one or more of these priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We propose this action to enable tribal educational agencies (TEAs) to administer formula grant programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), and to improve the partnership between TEAs and the State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) that educate students from the affected tribe.

Comments are due by December 1, 2014

Follow the link here for further information or contact Shahla Ortega, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 3E211, Washington, DC 20202-6450. Telephone: (202) 453-5602 or by email: shahla.ortega@ed.gov.