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124D.74 American Indian education programs.

Subdivision 1. Program described. American Indian education programs are programs in public elementary and secondary schools, nonsectarian nonpublic, community, tribal, charter, or alternative schools enrolling American Indian children designed to:

(1) support postsecondary preparation for pupils;

(2) support the academic achievement of American Indian students with identified focus to improve reading and mathematic skills;

(3) make the curriculum more relevant to the needs, interests, and cultural heritage of American Indian pupils;

(4) provide positive reinforcement of the self-image of American Indian pupils;

(5) develop intercultural awareness among pupils, parents, and staff; and

(6) supplement, not supplant, state and federal educational and cocurricular programs.

Program components may include: development of support components for students in the areas of academic achievement, retention, and attendance; development of support components for staff, including in-service training and technical assistance in methods of teaching American Indian pupils; research projects, including experimentation with and evaluation of methods of relating to American Indian pupils; provision of personal and vocational counseling to American Indian pupils; modification of curriculum, instructional methods, and administrative procedures to meet the needs of American Indian pupils; and supplemental instruction in American Indian language, literature, history, and culture. Districts offering programs may make contracts for the provision of program components by establishing cooperative liaisons with tribal programs and American Indian social service agencies. These programs may also be provided as components of early childhood and family education programs.

Subd. 2. Voluntary enrollment. Enrollment in American Indian education programs must be voluntary. School districts and participating schools must make affirmative efforts to encourage participation. They shall encourage parents to visit classes or come to school for a conference explaining the nature of the program and provide visits by school staff to parents' homes to explain the nature of the program.

Subd. 3. Enrollment of other children; shared time enrollment. To the extent it is economically feasible, a district or participating school may make provision for the voluntary enrollment of non-American Indian children in the instructional components of an American Indian education program in order that they may acquire an understanding of the cultural heritage of the American Indian children for whom that particular program is designed. However, in determining eligibility to participate in a program, priority must be given to American Indian children. American Indian children and other children enrolled in an existing nonpublic school system may be enrolled on a shared time basis in American Indian education programs.

Subd. 4. Location of programs. American Indian education programs must be located in facilities in which regular classes in a variety of subjects are offered on a daily basis. Programs may operate on an extended day or extended year basis.

Subd. 5. Assignment of students. A school district or participating school must not, in providing these programs, assign students to schools in a way which will have the effect of promoting segregation of students by race, sex, color, or national origin.

Subd. 6. Nonverbal courses and extracurricular activities. In predominantly nonverbal subjects, such as art, music, and physical education, American Indian children shall participate fully and on an equal basis with their contemporaries in school classes provided for these subjects. Every school district or participating school shall ensure to children enrolled in American Indian education programs an equal and meaningful opportunity to participate fully with other children in all extracurricular activities. This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit instruction in nonverbal subjects or extracurricular activities which relate to the cultural heritage of the American Indian children, or which are otherwise necessary to accomplish the objectives described in sections 124D.71 to 124D.82.

HIST: 1977 c 312 s 4; 1998 c 397 art 2 s 138-142,164; art 11 s 3; 1Sp2001 c 6 art 2 s 34-38; 1Sp2005 c 5 art 2 s 68

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Revisor of Statutes