Secretary DeVos Announces $24 Million In Grants to Expand Education Choice for Native American Students

Secretary DeVos Announces $24 Million In Grants to Expand Education Choice for Native American Students

October 1, 2020

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced this week 40 new grant awards totaling $24 million to expand education options for American Indian and Alaska Native students. The Accessing Choices in Education (ACE) grants will help Native American communities set up a variety of education options and services, including additional course options, apprenticeships, tutoring and many other programs, from which parents or students can choose.

“All too often, Native American students do not have access to high quality education options tailored to meet their needs, culture, heritage and ambitions,” said Secretary DeVos. “We developed the ACE grants to empower tribes to expand options for students, so they can then select the courses, services and on-the-job learning experiences that are the right fit for them. I am hopeful that by empowering tribes and the students they serve with more options for their education, we will see improved outcomes.”

The ACE grant funds are critical to both rural and urban tribal communities who are often faced with limited choice options. Projects will support activities such as culturally relevant career exploration, including skills development, on-the-job training, hands-on learning with a focus on STEAM, counseling and mentorships, family engagement, and test preparation.

An ACE proposal was required to 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 were 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.

The full list of awards will be available on the following website in the coming days: https://oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-indian-education/demonstration-grants-for-indian-children/.