House bill NO. 338
INTRODUCED BY J. Windy Boy, C. Keogh, T. Running Wolf, D. Hawk, E. Kerr-Carpenter, A. Buckley, M. Thane, F. Smith, M. Hopkins, J. Fitzpatrick, K. Abbott, P. Tuss, S. Stewart Peregoy, M. Romano, S. Howell
By Request of the ****
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REVISING INDIAN EDUCATION FOR ALL; PROVIDING A DEFINITION OF EDUCATIONAL AGENCY; REQUIRING SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO PROVIDE INDIAN EDUCATION FOR ALL; REQUIRING the board of public education and superintendent of public INSTRUCTION to incorporate the distinct and unique cultural heritage of Montana American Indians into content standards with involvement from the Tribes; ENHANCING THE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIAN EDUCATION FOR ALL FUNDS DISTRIBUTED TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS; AMENDING SECTIONS 20-1-501, 20-1-502, 20-1-503, AND 20-9-329, MCA; and PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE and an APPLICABILITY Date.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 20-1-501, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-1-501. Recognition of American Indian cultural heritage -- legislative intent. (1) It is the constitutionally declared policy of this state to recognize the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians and to be committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural heritage.
(2) It is the intent of the legislature that in accordance with Article X, section 1(2), of the Montana constitution:
(a) every Montanan, whether Indian or non-Indian, be encouraged to learn about the distinct and unique heritage of American Indians in a culturally responsive manner; and
(b) every educational agency and all educational personnel will work cooperatively with Montana tribes or those tribes that are in close proximity, when providing instruction or when implementing an educational goal or adopting a rule related to the education of each Montana citizen, to include information specific to the cultural heritage and contemporary contributions of American Indians, with particular emphasis on Montana Indian tribal groups and governments.
(3) It is also the intent of this part, predicated on the belief that all school personnel should have an understanding and awareness of Indian tribes to help them relate effectively with Indian students and parents, that educational personnel agencies provide means by which school personnel will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the American Indian people."
Section 2. Section 20-1-502, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-1-502. American Indian studies -- definitions. As used in this part, the following definitions apply:
(1) "American Indian studies" means instruction pertaining to the history, traditions, customs, values, beliefs, ethics, language, and contemporary affairs of American Indians, particularly Indian tribal groups in Montana.
(2) "Educational agency" means:
(a) the Montana university system;
(b) professional educator preparation programs accredited by the board of public education;
(c) the board of public education;
(d) the office of public instruction; and
(e) school districts.
(2)(3) "Instruction" means:
(a) a formal course of study or class, developed with the advice and assistance of Indian people, that is offered separately or that is integrated into existing accreditation standards by a unit of the university system or by an accredited tribal community college located in Montana, including a teacher education program within the university system or a tribal community college located in Montana, or by the board of trustees of a school district;
(b) inservice training developed by the superintendent of public instruction in cooperation with educators of Indian descent and made available to school districts;
(c) inservice training provided by a local board of trustees of a school district, which is developed and conducted in cooperation with tribal education departments, tribal community colleges, or other recognized Indian education resource specialists; or
(d) inservice training developed by professional education organizations or associations in cooperation with educators of Indian descent and made available to all certified and classified personnel."
Section 3. Section 20-1-503, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-1-503. Qualification in Indian studies -- trustees and noncertified personnel Indian education for all. (1) The board of trustees for an elementary or secondary public school district may require that all of its certified personnel satisfy the requirements for instruction in American Indian studies. Pursuant to Article X, section 8, of the Montana constitution, this requirement may be a local school district requirement with enforcement and administration solely the responsibility of the local board of trustees. Pursuant to this part and 20-9-329 and the definition of basic system of free quality public elementary and secondary schools under 20-9-309, the board of trustees of a school district shall require that all certified personnel and all students receive instruction in American Indian studies.
(2) Members of boards of trustees and all noncertified personnel in public school districts are encouraged to satisfy the requirements for instruction in American Indian studies.
(3) (a) Pursuant to Article X, section 1(2), of the Montana constitution, 20-1-501, 20-7-101, and 20-9-309, the board of public education shall incorporate the distinct and unique cultural heritage of Montana American Indians in the content standards that schools must implement as a requirement for school accreditation.
(b) The superintendent shall include representatives of Montana Indian tribes on negotiated rulemaking committees formed pursuant to 20-7-101 addressing the development or revision of content standards under subsection (3)(a)."
Section 4. Section 20-9-329, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-9-329. Indian education for all payment. (1) The Except as provided in subsection (5), the state shall provide an Indian education for all payment to public school districts, as defined in 20-6-101 and 20-6-701, to implement the provisions of Article X, section 1(2), of the Montana constitution and Title 20, chapter 1, part 5.
(2) The Indian education for all payment is calculated as provided in 20-9-306 and is a component of the BASE budget of the district.
(3) The district shall deposit the payment in the general fund of the district.
(4) (a) A public school district that receives an Indian education for all payment may not divert the funds to any purpose other than curriculum development of an American Indian studies program, providing curriculum and materials to students for the program, and and providing training to teachers about the program's curriculum and materials.
(b) A public school district shall file an annual report with the office of public instruction, in a form prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction,, in a form and by a date prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction, that specifies how the Indian education for all funds were expended in the prior school fiscal year in sufficient detail to ensure that all the funds were properly spent for the purposes under subsection (4)(a). In addition to the expenditure reporting, the report must include detailed descriptions of:
(i) the instruction provided to certified personnel and students as required under 20-1-503; and
(ii) how this instruction was developed cooperatively with the advice and assistance of Montana tribes pursuant to Title 20, chapter 1, part 5.
(5) (a) A school district that fails to file the annual report required under subsection (4) is ineligible for the funding under this section for subsequent school fiscal years until the report is filed.
(b) If a school district files a report failing to show that all funds received under this section were spent for the purposes of subsection (4)(a), the school district's BASE budget and funding under this section for the subsequent fiscal year must be reduced by the amount of funding received that was not spent for the purposes of subsection (4)(a)."
Section 5. Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each federally recognized tribal government in Montana.
Section 6. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 2023.
Section 7. Applicability. The new reporting requirements under [section 4(4)] apply to Indian education for all funds distributed in fiscal years starting on or after July 1, 2023.
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