Advocacy to Address Low Graduation, Funding

Only 42 percent of American Indian (AMI) students graduate, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

That is half the graduation rate of white non-Hispanic Minnesota students and represents the largest achievement gap in Minnesota.  All of the 38 Minnesota school districts with 8 percent or more American Indian students, and 71 percent of the 41 Minnesota school districts with 100 or more American Indian students, are in Greater Minnesota.  Of those districts, 25 are MREA member districts.

Total Number of American Indian Students by District
View the Details     View the Map

American Indian Students by Percentage of Total Student
View the Details     View the Map

MREA Dedicating Resources, Identifying Priorities

MREA is dedicating resources to advocate for issues unique to districts serving significant numbers of AMI students.

Updated AMI Education Guidance

Several questions regarding American Indian Education Aid plans and AMI student counts arose during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 plan years. MREA met with key education staff to address these issues. MDE hosted listening sessions in December and issued updated guidance as a result. View the listening sessions summary and updated guidance below.

American Indian Education Listening Sessions Summary
American Indian Education Guidance Changes
American Indian Education Updated Guidance

The Right Start for Families

MREA has identified other key priorities with the first being getting families, babies and young children off to the right start with high quality, coordinated, and culturally appropriate early childhood education and family support. Learn more about the legislative priorities.

AMI Curriculum Project and TNEC Partnership

MREA’s AMI Advisory Committee has also identified a lack of accurate AMI curriculum materials to teach MN Academic Standards relating to MN American Indian Tribes and has partnered with the Tribal Nations Education Council (TNEC) on an American Indian Curriculum Project. This project has been endorsed by the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC).

View MREA/TNEC Partnership Letter

View MN American Indian Curriculum Project Proposal

View TNEC/MIAC Curriculum Resolution

Throughout this effort, MREA looks to cooperate with other organizations and individuals interested and involved in the education of Minnesota’s American Indian Students, such as:

  • Tribal Nations Education Directors
  • Minnesota Indian Education Association (MIEA)

American Indian Advisory Committee

MREA’s American Indian Advisory Committee is comprised of administrators, board members and teachers who advise the MREA Board of Directors on advocacy and member services for school districts serving AMI students. View the committee members.

If you are interested in serving on the Advisory Committee, please email  a letter of interest to Diane Vosen, Administrative Coordinator (email Diane).  Most meetings are held online.

AMI Resources

MDE Office of Indian Education

MN Indian Education Association

National Indian Education Association

Native Youth Alliance of Minnesota

Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program