SSHB 229: "An Act relating to a curriculum for Native language education; and providing for an effective date."
00SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 229 01 "An Act relating to a curriculum for Native language education; and providing 02 for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Native Language Education 05 Act. 06 * Sec. 2. FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 07 (1) Alaska's indigenous Native cultures and languages are unique, essential 08 elements of Alaska's heritage; 09 (2) Alaska's indigenous Native languages are an integral part of Alaska Native 10 people's culture and well-being; 11 (3) knowledge of one's indigenous language is important for the development 12 of social skills and self-esteem; it further contributes to the development of the individual, and 13 the ability to communicate; 14 (4) translations from a Native language into English result in the loss of
01 context and deprivation of the full range of social and cultural understanding necessary to 02 function in the individual's environment; 03 (5) when Native children are proficient in their primary indigenous language, 04 they are more likely to do better in school; they also develop a higher degree of proficiency 05 in English; 06 (6) historically, Alaska Native children first learned their Native language in 07 their homes and communities but with the passing of Native elders and with a current 08 generation of parents who are not fluent in their Native language, younger generations are less 09 knowledgeable about their language and culture; 10 (7) the loss of indigenous Native languages dates back to the late 1800's when 11 mainstream American missionaries enforced federal policies that forbade the use of Native 12 languages, punished children for speaking their own language, and urged parents to speak only 13 English to their children; 14 (8) the continuation of "no Native language" policies in federal, territorial, and 15 state school systems between 1910 and 1970 resulted in the loss of many Native languages; 16 (9) the fact that only two of the 20 Alaska Native languages are fluently 17 spoken by children today is an indicator of the impending extinction of Native languages; 18 (10) unless action is taken, by the year 2055 only five of the 20 Alaska Native 19 languages will be spoken by anyone, and soon thereafter the Native languages of Alaska may 20 vanish. 21 * Sec. 3. AS 14.03.120(e) is amended to read: 22 (e) A district shall, by October 31 of each year, provide to the state board, and 23 make available to the public, a report on the performance of each public school and 24 public school students in the district. The report shall [MUST] be entitled "School 25 District Report Card To The Public" and shall [MUST] be prepared on a form 26 prescribed by the department. The report must include 27 (1) the percent of district students in the top and bottom quarter of 28 standardized national achievement examinations; results under this paragraph shall be 29 disclosed in a manner that does not reveal the individual identities of students; 30 (2) the percent of students who are not promoted to the next grade; 31 (3) student, parent, and community member comments on the school's
01 performance; 02 (4) the annual percent change in enrollment and the percent of 03 enrollment change due to student transfers into and out of the district; 04 (5) attendance, retention, and graduation rates; 05 (6) the ways in which meaningful parent involvement in school 06 performance was achieved; 07 (7) a summary and evaluation of the environmental education 08 curriculum described in AS 14.30.380; 09 (8) if Native language education is provided, a summary and 10 evaluation of the curriculum described in AS 14.30.420; 11 (9) other indicators of school performance required by the state board; 12 and 13 (10) [(9)] other indicators of school performance selected by the 14 district. 15 * Sec. 4. AS 14.30 is amended by adding a new section to article 6 to read: 16 Sec. 14.30.420. NATIVE LANGUAGE EDUCATION. (a) A school board 17 in a district in which a majority of the students are Alaska Natives shall establish a 18 local Native language curriculum advisory board for each school in the district in 19 which a majority of the students are Alaska Natives. If the local Native language 20 curriculum advisory board recommends the establishment of a Native language 21 education curriculum for a school, the school board may initiate and conduct a Native 22 language education curriculum within grades K through 12 at that school. The 23 program, if established, must include Native languages traditionally spoken in the 24 community in which the school is located. Each school board conducting a program 25 of Native language education shall implement the program as a part of regular 26 classroom studies and shall utilize 27 (1) instructors who are certified under AS 14.20.020 or 14.20.025; and 28 (2) to the extent possible 29 (A) instructors and instructional materials available through the 30 University of Alaska; and 31 (B) audio-visual, computer and satellite technology.
01 (b) In this section, 02 (1) "district" has the meaning given in AS 14.17.250; 03 (2) "Native" means a person of one-fourth degree or more Alaskan 04 Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut blood. 05 * Sec. 5. This Act takes effect July 1, 1995.