Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 108 Part 5.djvu/490

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108 STAT. 3980 PUBLIC LAW 103-382—OCT. 20, 1994 Academic standards. Federal Register, publication. and becoming increasingly effective in shaping the character and quahty of the world all learners share. "(b) Within 18 months of the publication of the voluntary national content standards described in section 213(a) of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Education and Indian organizations and tribes, shall carry out or cause to be carried out by contract with an Indian organization such studies and surveys, making the fullest use possible of other existing studies, surveys, and plans, as are necessary to establish and revise standards for the basic education of Indian children attending Bureau funded schools. Such studies and surveys shall take into account factors such as academic needs, local cultural differences, t3npe and level of language skills, geographic isolation, and appropriate teacher-student ratios for such children, and shall be directed toward the attainment of equal educational opportunity for such children. "(c)(1) The Secretary shall revise the minimum academic standards published in the Federal Register of September 9, 1985 (50 Fed. Reg. 174) for the basic education of Indian children in accordance with the purpose described in subsection (a) and the findings of the studies and surveys described in subsection (b), and shall publish such revised standards in the Federal Register for the purpose of receiving comments from the tribes and other interested parties. Within 21 months of the date of enactment of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994, the Secretary shall establish final standards, distribute such standards to all the tribes and publish such final standards in the Federal Register. The Secretary shall revise such final standards periodically as necessary. Prior to any revision of such final standards, the Secretary shall distribute such proposed revision to all the tribes, and publish such proposed revision in the Federal Register, for the purpose of receiving comments from the tribes and other interested parties. "(2) The standards described in paragraph (1) shall apply to Bureau schools, and subject to subsection (f), to contract or grant schools, and may also serve as a model for educational programs for Indian children in public schools. In establishing and revising such standards, the Secretary shall take into account the special needs of Indian students and the support and reinforcement of the specific cultural heritage of each tribe. "(d) The Secretary shall provide alternative or modified standards in lieu of the standards established under subsection (c), where necessary, so that the programs of each school shall be in compliance with the minimum standards required for accreditation of schools in the State where the school is located. "(e) A tribal governing body, or the local school board so designated by the tribal governing body, shall have the local authority to waive, in part or in whole, the standards established under subsection (c) and (d), where such standards are deemed by such body to be inappropriate. The tribal governing body or designated school board shall, within 60 days thereafter, submit to the Secretary a proposal for alternative standards that take into account the specific needs of the tribe's children. Such revised standards shall be established by the Secretary unless specifically rejected by the Secretary for good cause and in writing to the affected tribes or local school board, which rejection shall be final and unreviewable.