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Begich Pleased with Alaska Native Education Initiative

White House issues Executive Order to improve education opportunities

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today released the following statement after President Obama announced he is establishing an initiative to help expand educational opportunities for Alaska Native and American Indian students.  An Executive Order called The Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities Initiative was announced as part of Obama’s third White House Tribal Nations Conference.

"This is welcome news as we know we must do more to improve educational outcomes for Alaska Natives students.  This initiative sets the tone for policies Congress must pursue in an overhaul of No Child Left Behind.

“Any new law must respect and embrace Alaska Native cultures and languages, as well as give educators the tools needed to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. I am pleased to see a focus on improving educational outcomes and career opportunities.”

Sen. Begich continues to push the Department of Education to support locally led efforts to improve Alaska Native education under the Alaska Native Education Equity Program. He has also introduced the Effective STEM Teaching and Learning Act, which is designed to prepare students for a global economy by establishing competitive grants to help states develop comprehensive strategies in science, technology, engineering and math.

Many of these policies have been included in a bipartisan education reform bill awaiting consideration by the full Senate.

A number of Alaska tribal representatives attended the conference and were present for today’s announcement.

The Executive Order establishing the Initiative can be found here.

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