On Tuesday March 12, 2019, Gordon Cooper Technology Center hosted Tribal leaders from the Shawnee area and several school superintendents from both Pottawatomie and Cleveland Counties for consultation as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). On December 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed ESSA into law, which requires annual consultation between each school receiving Title I and Title VI federal funding for American Indian/Alaska Native students and Tribal leaders. The consultation process allows for accountability of schools to meeting the educational needs of Oklahoma’s 130,000 plus American Indian/Alaska Native students with federal funding. Tribal leaders hope the consultation process opens the door to more conversation and collaboration with school districts along with more frequent meetings to enhance education for Oklahoma’s American Indian/Alaska Native student population.
Tribal leaders in attendance were; Governor Edwina Butler-Wolfe, Absentee Shawnee Tribe; Vice Chairwoman Linda Capps, Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Chairman David Pacheco, Kickapoo Tribe; Principal Chief Kay Rhoads, Sac and Fox Nation; Principal Chief Greg Chilcoat, Seminole Nation; representatives from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Greg Anderson, Chickasaw Nation; and the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma.
Superintendents from the following schools were present for the consultation; Tecumseh Public Schools; Little Axe Public Schools; Bethel Public Schools; Noble Public Schools; Pleasant Grove Public School; North Rock Creek Public School; and Meeker Public Schools. Shawnee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. April J. Grace was not in attendance; however representatives from the school system were present.
Thank you to Shawnee Public Schools Indian Education Director Graham Primeaux for putting together and conducting the consultation.