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

Provision of amounts for assistance (Sec. 300.707(b))

Comment: One commenter suggested adding specific language to the regulations to require the Secretaries of the Interior and Education to meet the statutory deadlines for providing and distributing funds under Part B of the Act.

Discussion: Section 300.707(b), consistent with section 611(h)(1)(A) of the Act, sets specific dates for the Secretary of the Interior to allocate funds provided to the Secretary of the Interior under the Act to elementary schools and secondary schools for Indian children operated or funded by the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior must allocate 80 percent of these funds by July 1 of each fiscal year, and the remaining 20 percent by September 30 of each fiscal year. The Act does not require the Secretary of Education to meet any deadline for providing and distributing funds to the Secretary of the Interior. Provision of funds under Part B of the Act to the Department of the Interior (DOI) will always depend on whether the DOI has properly established and maintained its eligibility. Therefore, we do not believe it would be appropriate to establish such a deadline.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter stated that BIA-funded schools do not require State accreditation and asked how a program affiliated with a BIA-funded school could be mandated by the State to be accredited.

Discussion: The commenter appears to be referring to current Sec. 300.715(c), regarding counting children aged three through five who are enrolled in programs affiliated with BIA-funded schools that are State accredited. Current Sec. 300.715(c) was removed because a State can no longer require a BIA-funded school to attain or maintain State accreditation.

Changes: None.

Comment: A few commenters recommended revising Sec. 300.707(c) to clarify that, for children living on reservations who do not attend BIA-funded schools, the SEA in which the reservation is located is responsible for ensuring that the requirements of Part B of the Act are implemented, and if the reservation is in more than one State, the SEA in which the child resides is responsible.

Discussion: The Department agrees that there is a need to clarify that States are responsible for serving Indian children on reservations located in their State who are not attending BIA-funded schools. We will revise Sec. 300.707(c) to clarify that, for children on reservations who do not attend BIA-funded schools, the State in which the reservation is located must ensure that all the requirements of Part B of the Act are implemented.

The Act does not address who is responsible if a reservation is located in more than one State. Under section 612(a)(1)(A) of the Act, a State must make FAPE available to all children with disabilities residing in the State. Therefore, as a general matter, if a reservation is located in more than one State, the State in which the child resides would be responsible for ensuring that the requirements of Part B of the Act are met for that child.

Changes: Section 300.707(c) has been revised to clarify that, for children on reservations who do not attend BIA-funded schools, the State in which the reservation is located must ensure that all the requirements of Part B of the Act are met.