State Superintendent Tony Evers called for additional supports for education in a statement on the State of the Tribes Address Thursday at the State Capitol in Madison.
“Recent academic achievement and graduation data show that we need to provide more supports for our American Indian students. My Promoting Excellence for All Task Force found that a sense of community and personal relationships encourage students to feel connected to school so they want to achieve,” Evers said.
“My 2015-17 education budget included a request for Tribal Language Revitalization Grants to initiate a young tribal learners initiative. While Wisconsin has some small programs, they are underfunded and don’t reach younger students. The presence of a tribal language program in a school leads to increased attendance, gains in other subject areas, increased identification with the school, and higher levels of parental and community involvement. Our American Indian students and Tribal Nations need this,” he said.
“The majority of the state’s 11,000 American Indian students live on or near a reservation and attend school in rural areas. My overall budget called for increases in general aid and the revenue limit so that public schools have more financial resources to serve their students. As they work on the 2015-17 budget, I encourage the Legislature to consider reinstating my Tribal Language Revitalization Grant proposal and to provide more overall resources to our schools.”