Today, Governor Mike Dunleavy signed Senate Bill 34 (SB 34), sponsored by Senator Gary Stevens, which provides the opportunity for Tribes to voluntarily apply to establish a State-Tribal compact school. Governor Dunleavy believes this legislation will expand school choice options while improving education outcomes.
“As an educator, I’m excited about this innovative step to facilitate pilot projects between the state and Tribes,” said Governor Dunleavy. “We can improve our education outcomes, increase school choice, and respect the heritage and culture of our Tribes. State-Tribal compact schools will create a new avenue for preparing our children to be productive and strong community members.”
“This is a historic opportunity to embrace our unique Alaska Native heritages, providing a means for local tribal governments to determine their own path for educating young Alaskans,” said Senator Gary Stevens. “I’m proud to have contributed to and be a part of this historic occasion.”
“We collectively want to maintain our language, culture, and traditional ways of life,” said Julie Kitka, President of the Alaska Federation of Natives. “Educational compacting is one way that we can improve education for our tribal children.”
This legislation will provide Alaska’s Tribes the ability to voluntarily apply to establish a State-Tribal compact school. SB 34 will expand school choice options while honoring Indigenous ways of learning. Additionally, this legislation aims to improve educational outcomes and graduation rates by fostering State-Tribal partnerships.