25 USC § 2501
Declaration of policy
October 30, 2020

(a) Recognition
Congress recognizes that the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act [25 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.], which was a product of the legitimate aspirations and a recognition of the inherent authority of Indian nations, was and is a crucial positive step toward tribal and community control and that the United States has an obligation to assure maximum Indian participation in the direction of educational services so as to render the persons administering such services and the services themselves more responsive to the needs and desires of Indian communities.

(b) Commitment
Congress declares its commitment to the maintenance of the Federal Government's unique and continuing trust relationship with and responsibility to the Indian people for the education of Indian children through the establishment of a meaningful Indian self-determination policy for education that will deter further perpetuation of Federal bureaucratic domination of programs.

(c) National goal
Congress declares that a national goal of the United States is to provide the resources, processes, and structure that will enable tribes and local communities to obtain the quantity and quality of educational services and opportunities that will permit Indian children—

(1) to compete and excel in areas of their choice; and

(2) to achieve the measure of self-determination essential to their social and economic well-being.

(d) Educational needs
Congress affirms—

(1) true self-determination in any society of people is dependent upon an educational process that will ensure the development of qualified people to fulfill meaningful leadership roles;

(2) that Indian people have special and unique educational needs, including the need for programs to meet the linguistic and cultural aspirations of Indian tribes and communities; and

(3) that those needs may best be met through a grant process.

(e) Federal relations
Congress declares a commitment to the policies described in this section and support, to the full extent of congressional responsibility, for Federal relations with the Indian nations.

(f) Termination
Congress repudiates and rejects House Concurrent Resolution 108 of the 83d Congress and any policy of unilateral termination of Federal relations with any Indian nation.

References in Text

The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 93–638, Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2203, which is classified principally to chapter 46 (§5301 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 5301 of this title and Tables.

House Concurrent Resolution 108 of the 83rd Congress, referred to in subsec. (f), is H. Con. Res. 108, Eighty-third Congress, Aug. 1, 1953, 67 Stat. B132, which is not classified to the Code.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 2501, Pub. L. 100–297, title V, §5202, Apr. 28, 1988, 102 Stat. 385, set forth findings, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 107–110, title X, §1043, Jan. 8, 2002, 115 Stat. 2063.

Effective Date

Section effective Jan. 8, 2002, except with respect to certain noncompetitive programs and competitive programs, see section 5 of Pub. L. 107–110, set out as a note under section 6301 of Title 20, Education.

Short Title

Pub. L. 100–297, title V, §5201, Apr. 28, 1988, 102 Stat. 385, provided that: "This part [part B (§§5201–5212) of title V of Pub. L. 100–297, enacting this chapter] may be cited as the 'Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988'."

Tribal School Construction Demonstration Program

Pub. L. 108–7, div. F, title I, §122, Feb. 20, 2003, 117 Stat. 241, as amended by Pub. L. 108–108, title I, §136(a), Nov. 10, 2003, 117 Stat. 1270, provided that:

"(a) Definitions.—In this section:

"(1) Construction.—The term 'construction', with respect to a tribally controlled school, includes the construction or renovation of that school.

"(2) Indian tribe.—The term 'Indian tribe' has the meaning given that term in section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b(e)) [now 25 U.S.C. 5304(e)].

"(3) Secretary.—The term 'Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.

"(4) Tribally controlled school.—The term 'tribally controlled school' means a school that currently receives a grant under the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988, as amended (25 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.) or is determined by the Secretary to meet the eligibility criteria of section 5205 of the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988, as amended (25 U.S.C. 2504).

"(5) Department.—The term 'Department' means the Department of the Interior.

"(6) Demonstration program.—The term 'demonstration program' means the Tribal School Construction Demonstration Program.

"(b) In General.—The Secretary shall carry out a demonstration program for fiscal years 2003 through 2007 to provide grants to Indian tribes for the construction of tribally controlled schools.

"(1) In general.—Subject to the availability of appropriations, in carrying out the demonstration program under subsection (b), the Secretary shall award a grant to each Indian tribe that submits an application that is approved by the Secretary under paragraph (2). The Secretary shall ensure that applications for funding to replace schools currently receiving funding for facility operation and maintenance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs receive the highest priority for grants under this section. Among such applications, the Secretary shall give priority to applications of Indian tribes that agree to fund all future facility operation and maintenance costs of the tribally controlled school funded under the demonstration program from other than Federal funds.

"(2) Grant applications.—An application for a grant under the section shall—

"(A) include a proposal for the construction of a tribally controlled school of the Indian tribe that submits the application; and

"(B) be in such form as the Secretary determines appropriate.

"(3) Grant agreement.—As a condition to receiving a grant under this section, the Indian tribe shall enter into an agreement with the Secretary that specifies—

"(A) the costs of construction under the grant;

"(B) that the Indian tribe shall be required to contribute towards the cost of the construction a tribal share equal to 50 percent of the costs; and

"(C) any other term or condition that the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

"(4) Eligibility.—Grants awarded under the demonstration program shall be used only for construction or replacement of a tribally controlled school.

"(c) Effect of Grant.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, A [sic] grant received under this section shall be in addition to any other funds received by an Indian tribe under any other provision of law. The receipt of a grant under this section shall not affect the eligibility of an Indian tribe receiving funding, or the amount of funding received by the Indian tribe, under the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988 (25 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.) or the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.) [now 25 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.].

"(2) A tribe receiving a grant for construction of a tribally controlled school under this section shall not be eligible to receive funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for that school for education operations or facility operation and maintenance if the school that was not at the time of the grant: (i) a school receiving funding for education operations or facility operation and maintenance under the Tribally Controlled Schools Act [25 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.] or the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act [25 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.] or (ii) a school operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"(d) Report.—At the conclusion of the five-year demonstration program, the Secretary shall report to Congress as to whether the demonstration program has achieved its purposes of providing additional tribes fair opportunities to construct tribally controlled schools, accelerating construction of needed educational facilities in Indian Country, and permitting additional funds to be provided for the Department's priority list for construction of replacement educational facilities."

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior appropriation acts:

Pub. L. 107–63, title I, §125, Nov. 5, 2001, 115 Stat. 440.

Pub. L. 106–291, title I, §153, Oct. 11, 2000, 114 Stat. 960.

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