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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Definitions (Sec. 300.707(a))

Comment: A few commenters requested that the Department add a new definition of LEA and SEA for the purposes of regulations related to schools operated or funded by the Secretary of the Interior. One commenter stated that the regulations would be clearer if these terms were defined for BIA-funded schools, because the definition of state educational agency makes no mention of the BIA. Another commenter recommended defining LEAs as BIA-funded schools and defining SEA as the Secretary of the Interior for the purposes of regulations related to schools operated or funded by the Secretary of the Interior.

Discussion: We believe the definition of local educational agency in Sec. 300.28, with a specific reference to BIA-funded schools in Sec. 300.28(c), and the definition of State educational agency in Sec. 300.41, along with the requirements in Sec. Sec. 300.707 through 300.716, provide sufficient clarity on the Secretary of the Interior's responsibilities to implement the requirements of the Act. However, we understand that the definitions of local educational agency and State educational agency by themselves may not be directly applicable to the regulations related to schools operated or funded by the Secretary of the Interior. Therefore, the Department will consider taking action to clarify the definitions of local educational agency and State educational agency for the purpose of this regulation in the future.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter stated that the definition of tribal governing body of a school is similar to the definition of "tribal governing body" in the principal statute governing BIA-funded schools (section 1141 of the Education Amendments of 1978, 25 U.S.C. 2021(19)) and suggested using that definition if the intent was to define "tribal governing body." The commenter also noted that tribal governing body of a school is not used anywhere in the regulations.

Discussion: The Department agrees that the definition of "tribal governing body" in 25 U.S.C. 2021(19) is a better definition than the definition of tribal governing body of a school. The definition is more accurate and defines a term used in these regulations. We are replacing the definition of tribal governing body of a school with the definition of tribal governing body, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 2021(19): Tribal governing body means, with respect to any school, the tribal governing body, or tribal governing bodies, that represent at least 90 percent of the children served by such school.

Changes: The definition of tribal governing body of a school in Sec. 300.707(a)(2) has been replaced with the definition of tribal governing body from 25 U.S.C. 2021(19).