AZ Dept. of Education awards $1.8 M to support Native American students & families - AZEdNews
Sections    Sunday March 26th, 2023

AZ Dept. of Education awards $1.8 M to support Native American students & families

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  • Jimmy Arwood   |   Arizona Department of Education

A Gila River Indian Community Student With New Books. Photo Courtesy Blackwater Community School And Akimel O’Otham Pee Posh Charter School

The Arizona Department of Education announced targeted funding for Native American students and families.

“In reviewing data from past years, we know that our Native students deserve more targeted support,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “My administration is committed to ensuring that Native students have additional holistic resources inside and outside of the classroom. These investments reflect that priority, and we are proud to invest in additional resources for Native communities.”

The funding will support:

“The Gila River Indian Community is a book desert,” said Jagdish Sharma, Principal of Akimel O’Otham Pee Posh Charter School. “Our serving area has faced the scarcity of quality published content among Native American homes. This funding will help close the learning gap created by the pandemic in our community.”

Native SOAR is grateful to receive the Arizona Department of Education grant, which enables us to close the digital divide in our tribal communities and expand much-needed mentoring and professional development support services to Indigenous students and educators across Arizona,” said Dr. Amanda Cheromiah, Director of Native SOAR. “The ADE grant will help us to continue creating healing and innovative spaces to encourage students and communities that they are loved, and they are brilliant leaders. We look forward to transforming Indigenous education to better serve our communities in this pandemic era.” 

These investments continue the Superintendent’s vision of supporting the Native American community. In 2021 Superintendent Hoffman announced a $1 million dollar allocation to the Department’s Office of Indian Education, a statutorily mandated office that has never received funding from the Legislature.

These projects are funded with dollars from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and are part of Arizona’s ARP School and Community Grantees. All funded projects share the goal of supporting schools, students, educators, and families as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.