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                                                        Calendar No. 42
                                                        
116th Congress    }                                               Report
                                  SENATE
 1st Session      }                                               116-11

======================================================================



 
     AMENDING THE NATIVE AMERICAN PROGRAMS ACT OF 1974 TO PROVIDE 
 FLEXIBILITY AND REAUTHORIZATION TO ENSURE THE SURVIVAL AND CONTINUING 
                 VITALITY OF NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES

                                _______
                                

                 March 25, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Hoeven, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 256]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 256)\1\ to amend the Native American Programs Act of 
1974 to provide flexibility and reauthorization to ensure the 
survival and continuing vitality of Native American languages, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 256 is to provide additional flexibility 
for and reauthorization of the Native American Languages Act of 
1992\1\ and the Esther Martinez Native Languages Preservation 
Act of 2006,\2\ two grant programs administered by the 
Administration for Native Americans (ANA) in the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
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    \1\Native American Languages Act of 1992, Pub. L. No. 102-524, 25 
U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 2991b-3-2992d (1992).
    \2\Esther Martinez Native Languages Preservation Act, Pub. L. No. 
109-394, 42 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 2991b-3-2992d (2006).
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                         BACKGROUND AND HISTORY

History of key federal laws supporting Native American languages

    In 1990, Congress passed the Native American Languages Act 
(NALA). This law recognizes the unique status of Native 
American cultures and languages. According to the law, it is 
federal policy to ``preserve, protect, and promote the rights 
and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice, and develop 
Native American languages.''\3\ Further, NALA declares federal 
support for ``the use of Native American languages as a medium 
of instruction.''\4\ Congress recognized a number of reasons 
for encouraging instruction in Native languages, including 
language survival, community pride, improved educational 
opportunity, and increased student achievement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Native American Languages Act of 1990 [NALA], Pub. L. No. 101-
477, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 2903 (1990).
    \4\Id at
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two years later, Congress passed the Native American 
Languages Act of 1992. Building on the policies set forth in 
the original law, it directed the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services, acting through the ANA, to award grants to eligible 
tribal governments and Native American organizations to assist 
Native communities in assuring the survival and continuing 
vitality of their languages. Congress authorized use of these 
grants for developing community language programs, training 
language program personnel (e.g., teachers, interpreters, 
broadcasters, and translators), producing teaching materials, 
compiling oral language recordings, and purchasing language 
revitalization related equipment.
    The Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation 
Act (NALPA), which further amended the NALA, was signed into 
law in December, 2006. Named after Ms. Esther Martinez, a Tewa 
teacher and storyteller, the NALPA bolsters federal support for 
Native language education by creating and funding the following 
programs:
           Native American language nests are 
        educational programs that provide instruction and 
        childcare to at least 10 children under the age of 7 
        and offer Native language classes to parents. Such 
        programs use Native American language as the primary 
        language of instruction.
           Native language survival schools are similar 
        to language nests but have broader objectives. Located 
        in regions with high numbers of Native Americans, these 
        schools provide a minimum of 500 hours of instruction 
        in at least one Native American language to at least 15 
        students. These schools aim to achieve student fluency 
        in a Native American language alongside proficiency in 
        mathematics, science, and language arts. Moreover, 
        survival schools provide for teacher training and 
        develop instructional courses and materials to advance 
        Native American language learning and teaching.
    In addition to delivering instruction in one or more Native 
American languages, these programs provide training to Native 
American language teachers and develop instructional materials 
for Native American language programs. Funds are given to 
restoration programs for a variety of activities that increase 
proficiency in at least one Native American language, such as 
language immersion programs, culture camps, Native American 
language teacher training programs, and the development of 
books and other media.
    During the 114th Congress, the Committee held one oversight 
and two legislative hearings on Indian education. At these 
hearings, the Committee heard from witnesses on the importance 
of Native languages and culture to the academic and social 
success of Native students.
    At an oversight hearing on May 13, 2015, the Bureau of 
Indian Education's witness highlighted the importance the 
agency, which is specifically tasked with American Indian and 
Alaska education, places on working with tribes to implement 
Native language programs that lead to fluency.\5\ At a 
legislative hearing on April 6, 2016, witnesses representing 
tribal governments, state governments, and nonprofit 
organizations each spoke on the importance of Native language 
preservation and continuation.\6\
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    \5\Oversight Hearing on ``Bureau of Indian Education: Examining 
Organizational Challenges in Transforming Educational Opportunities for 
Indian Children'' Before the S. Comm. on Indian Affairs, 114 Cong. 43 
(2015) (statement of Bureau of Indian Education witness).
    \6\Legislative Hearing to receive testimony on S. 2304, S. 2468, S. 
2580, and S. 2711, 114 Cong. 13-35 (2016) (statements of Sandra Boham, 
President, Salish Kootenai College, Hon. Carlyle W. Begay, Arizona 
State Sen., Patricia Whitefoot, Pres. National Indian Education 
Association).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the 115th Congress, the Committee held an oversight 
hearing entitled ``Examining Efforts to Maintain and Revitalize 
Native Languages for Future Generations.''\7\ ANA Commissioner 
Jeannie Hovland testified about the Agency's work to support 
Native language revitalization through NALA and NALPA 
grants.\8\ She stated, ``Language revitalization is essential 
for continuing Native American culture and strengthening self-
determination.'' Other witnesses echoed Commissioner Hovland's 
observation, including Mashpee Wampanoag Vice Chairwoman Jessie 
Baird, who testified that ``the preservation of our language is 
the preservation of ourselves.''\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Oversight Hearing on ``Examining Efforts to Maintain and 
Revitalized Native Languages for Future Generations'' Before the S. 
Comm. on Indian Affairs, 115 Cong. (2018).
    \8\Id at 8-10 (statement of Jeannie Hovland, Commissioner, 
Administration for Native Americans).
    \9\Id at 14 (statement of Jessie Little Doe Baird, Vice Chairwoman, 
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe).
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Preservation and Maintenance and the Esther Martinez Initiative Grant 
        Programs

    The Native American Languages Act of 1992 established the 
Preservation and Maintenance (P&M) grant program within the 
Native American Programs Act of 1974 to ensure the survival of 
Native American languages. In 2006, Congress reauthorized the 
Native American languages grant program was last reauthorized 
by Congress through NALPA, and expanded it to include the 
Esther Martinez Initiative (EMI). The EMI supports and 
strengthens Native American language immersion programs, such 
as language nests, language survival schools, and language 
restoration programs. The NALPA authorization expired in 2012, 
but Congress has continued to fund the program through 
Appropriations Acts since then.
    The HHS, through the ANA, administers grant funding under 
the Native American Programs Act of 1974. Language maintenance 
grant funding provides opportunities for grantees to assess, 
plan, develop, and implement projects to ensure the survival 
and continuing vitality of Native languages. The ANA has also 
formed a Native Languages Workgroup to ensure the program is 
meeting ANA goals and providing technical assistance to 
grantees and potential grantees.
    Between 2010 and 2018, the ANA received 843 applications 
for the P&M and EMI programs. In FY2018, the ANA awarded over 
$12,000,000 of funding for all Native American language grant 
activities and programs at the Agency.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Id at 11 (statement of Jeannie Hovland, Commissioner, 
Administration for Native Americans).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to the ``2012 Impact and Effectiveness of ANA 
Projects Report to Congress,''\11\ the ANA evaluated 22 out of 
the 63 total language grantees' projects from across Indian 
Country. The 2012 impact data showed that from these 22 
projects a total of 178 language teachers were trained in 
teaching Native languages; 2,340 youth had increased their 
ability to speak a Native language or achieved fluency; and 
2,586 adults had increased their ability to speak a Native 
language or achieved fluency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health 
and Human Services, 2012 Impact and Effectiveness of Administration for 
Native American Projects: Report to Congress (2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The 2014 Impact and Effectiveness report documented that 
the ANA had evaluated 61 language grantees from across Indian 
Country, approximately one third of all language projects 
funded.\12\ The 2014 impact data showed that from these 61 
projects a total of 285 language teachers were trained in 
teaching Native languages; 4,582 youth had increased their 
ability to speak a Native language; 91 youth had achieved 
fluency; and 3,334 adults had increased their ability to speak 
a Native language or achieved fluency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health 
and Human Services, 2014 Impact and Effectiveness of Administration for 
Native American Projects: Report to Congress (2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Improvements to the Current Grant Program

            Duration of grants
    During Committee legislative hearings held on June 18, 
2014, and November 18, 2015, the ANA stated that grantee 
interviews suggested that the duration of language grants from 
the current three-year time frame should be increased to up to 
five-years.\13\ Commissioner Sparks further testified that, by 
expanding its authority to increase the duration of awards, 
projects would become more sustainable and yield increased 
results.\14\ The P&M grants are currently awarded on a one-, 
two-, and three-year basis, and EMI grants are awarded on a 
three-year basis. The bill, S. 256 reflects ANA's feedback from 
grantees and amends Section 803C(e)(2) of the Native American 
Program Act of 1974 to extend these Native language grants to 
up to a five-year basis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Legislative Hearing on S. 1948 and S. 2299 Before the S. Comm. 
on Indian Affairs, 113 Cong. 8-9 (2014) (statement of Lillian Sparks, 
Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans).; Legislative 
Hearing on S. 410, S. 1163, and S. 1928 Before the S. Comm. on Indian 
Affairs, 114 Cong. 6-7 (2015) (statement of Lillian Sparks Robinson, 
Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans).
    \14\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to the 2014 testimony provided by Commissioner 
Sparks, the ANA completed a preliminary analysis of the effects 
that increased grant duration would have on the number of grant 
awards made each year.\15\ Commissioner Sparks stated that she 
did not anticipate a significant decrease in total number of 
grants active each year but also noted that funding would shift 
from new project awards to awards for continuing projects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Legislative Hearing on S. 1948 and S. 2299 Before the S. Comm. 
on Indian Affairs, 113 Cong. 14 (2014) (statement of Lillian Sparks, 
Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Commissioner Sparks also testified that the ANA awarded an 
average of 16 new P&M grants each year for a total active 
grantee pool of 40 any given time.\16\ For EMI grants, ANA 
awarded an average of six new grants per year for a total 
active grantee pool of approximately 18 at any given time. 
Commissioner Sparks estimated that new P&M grant awards would 
decrease by approximately five projects per grant award cycle 
and new EMI grant awards would decrease by an estimated two to 
three projects per grant award cycle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Legislative Hearing on S. 1948 and S. 2299 Before the S. Comm. 
on Indian Affairs, 113 Cong. 9-11 (2014) (statement of Lillian Sparks, 
Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Commissioner Sparks further reported that an analysis of 
the effects of the grant period length on the project revealed 
that, as the duration of the project increased, the impact of 
the project significantly increased.\17\ Therefore, 
Commissioner Sparks stated the ANA believed increasing the 
duration of years would increase the number of individuals 
achieving fluency, the number of teachers trained, and the 
chances of a project's sustainability. Commissioner Sparks also 
stated that extending the length of the grants would allow 
grantees more time to find supplemental funding to support 
their program once the grant awards expired.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Id.
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Language nests and survival school student minimums

    During the November 18, 2015 Committee hearing, 
Commissioner Sparks stated that grantees requested lowering the 
criteria for student minimums.\18\ By lowering the requirement 
for language nests from 10 to 5 students, and for survival 
schools from 15 to 10 students, Commissioner Sparks testified 
that more projects would be eligible in lower-populated and 
remote areas. S. 256 would amend Section 803C(b)(7) of the 
Native American Program Act of 1974 to lower the requirement 
for the minimum number of children in language nests from 10 to 
5 children and lower requirement for the minimum number of 
children in survival schools from 15 to 10 children.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Legislative Hearing on S. 410, S. 1163, and S. 1928 Before the 
S. Comm. on Indian Affairs, 114 Cong. 6 (2015) (statement of Lillian 
Sparks Robinson, Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On January 29, 2019, Senator Udall, along with Senators 
Cortez Masto, Heinrich, Murkowski, Schatz, Smith, Tester, and 
Warren introduced S. 256. The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs. On February 6, 2019, the Committee 
met at a duly called business meeting to consider the bill. The 
bill was ordered to be reported favorably, without amendment, 
to the Senate by voice vote.
    On January 30, 2019, Representative Ben Ray Lujan 
introduced an identical House companion bill, H.R. 912. 
Representatives Cardenas, Cole, Davids, DeFazio, Grijalva, 
Haaland, Kildee, McCollum, Moore, Napolitano, Holmes Norton, 
O'Halleran, Soto, Tipton, Torres Small, and Young (AK) joined 
Representative Lujan as original co-sponsors of the bill. The 
bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor 
but no further action has been taken at this time.
    During the 115th Congress, Senator Udall introduced S.254 
on February 1, 2017 with Senators Murkowski, Franken, Heinrich, 
Heitkamp, Schatz, and Tester as original cosponsors. On March 
1, 2017, Senator Van Hollen joined as a cosponsor. The bill was 
referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. On February 8, 
2017, the Committee met at a duly called business meeting to 
consider the bill. The bill was ordered to be reported 
favorably, without amendment, to the Senate by voice vote.
    On November 29, 2017, the bill passed the Senate with an 
amendment by unanimous consent. The amendment further amends 
the Native American Programs Act of 1974 by striking ``such 
sums''' and authorizing $13,000,000 for each FY beginning in 
2019 through 2023. The bill, as amended, was referred to the 
House Committee on Education and the Workforce. No further 
action was taken on the measure.
    On February 16, 2017, Representative Ben Ray Lujan 
introduced H.R. 1169, a companion bill in the House of 
Representatives with 24 Democratic and Republican cosponsors. 
The bill was referred to the Committee on Education and the 
Workforce of the House of Representatives. No further action 
has been taken.
    During the 114th Congress, Senator Udall introduced an 
identical reauthorization bill, S. 1163, on April 30, 2015, 
with Senators Murkowski Franken, Heinrich, Heitkamp, Schatz and 
Tester as original cosponsors. The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs. On November 18, 2015, the 
Committee held a legislative hearing on the bill. On May 11, 
2016, the Committee met at a duly called business meeting to 
consider the bill. The bill was ordered to be reported 
favorably, without amendment, to the Senate by voice vote.
    The House of Representatives also considered an identical 
bill, H.R. 2174, during the 114th Congress. Representative Ben 
Ray Lujan introduced that bill on April 30, 2015, with 
Representatives Young, McCollum, Cole, Grijalva, Honda, Pearce, 
Ruiz, and Roybal-Allard as original cosponsors. Representatives 
Huffman, Lujan Grisham, and Adam Smith were added as cosponsors 
between May, 2015, and September 2015. The bill was referred to 
the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of 
Representatives. No further action was taken.
    In the 113th Congress, Senator Johnson of South Dakota 
introduced a simple NALPA reauthorization bill, S. 2299. 
Senators Murkowski, Begich, Franken, Heinrich, Hirono, King, 
Schatz, Tester, and Udall were original cosponsors. Senator 
Walsh joined as a cosponsor on May 14, 2014. The bill was 
referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. On June 18, 2014, 
Committee held a legislative hearing on the bill.
    On July 30, 2014, the Committee met at a duly called 
business meeting to consider the bill. Senator Johnson of South 
Dakota offered two amendments, which were both adopted. The 
first amendment, in the nature of a substitute, altered Sec. 
803C(e)(2) of the Native American Program Act of 1974 to permit 
grants a life of three, four or five years and would eliminate 
the three-year requirement and Sec. 803C(b)(7) of the Native 
American Program Act of 1974 to lower the minimum number of 
children in language nests from 10 to 5 children and lower the 
minimum number of children in survival schools from 15 to 10 
children. As amendments to the title must be done separately 
from a substitute amendment, the second amendment simply 
updated the title of the bill to reflect the changes made by 
the first amendment. The bill, as amended, was ordered to be 
favorably reported to the Senate by voice vote.
    In the 112th Congress, S. 3546 was introduced by Senator 
Johnson (SD) with Senator Akaka as an original cosponsor. 
Senators Tester , Cantwell, Conrad, Franken, Inouye, and Udall 
(D-NM) joined as cosponsors later. On December 11, 2012, the 
Committee met at a duly called business meeting to consider the 
bill. S. 3546, was ordered to be favorably reported to the 
Senate by voice vote.

        SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF BILL AS ORDERED REPORTED

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 sets forth the short title of the bill as the 
``Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs 
Reauthorization Act.''

Section 2. Native American languages grant program

    Section 2 changes the current requirement for the minimum 
number of enrollees in eligible survival schools from 15 to 10 
students and language nests from 10 to 5 students. It further 
amends the provision on the length of the Preservation & M 
grants and the EMI grants from a maximum of three years to 
allow the grant awards lengths to expand to three, four, and 
five year durations.

Section 3. Reauthorization of the Native American languages program

    Section 3 reauthorizes Sec. 816(e) of the Native American 
Programs Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 2992d(e)) by striking ``such 
sums''' and authorizing $13,000,000 for each FY beginning in 
2020 to 2024.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 11, 2019.
Hon. John Hoeven,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 256, the Esther 
Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization 
Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jennifer 
Gray.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 256--Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs 
        Reauthorization Act

    S. 256 would authorize the appropriation of $13 million for 
each year from 2020 through 2024 for a grant program to 
preserve and maintain Native American languages. The authority 
to make those grants expired at the end of 2012. However, the 
Department of Health and Human Services has continued to 
allocate funds for these grants. In 2018, the most recent year 
for which data are available, that allocation was about $10 
million. The bill would establish a period of availability of 
up to five years for those grants and would allow grant 
recipients to serve fewer children per grant than previously. 
For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 256 will be enacted 
before the beginning of fiscal year 2020, and that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated each year. Estimated 
outlays are based on historical spending patterns. CBO 
estimates that implementing the bill would cost $51 million 
over 2020 through 2024 and $14 million after 2024. The costs of 
the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget 
function 500 (education, training, employment, and social 
services).

                    TABLE 1--S. 256 ESTIMATED INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2019      2020      2021      2022      2023      2024    2019-2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorization............................         0        13        13        13        13        13         65
Estimated Outlays........................         0         1        11        13        13        13         51
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jennifer Gray. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no communication from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 256.

               REGULATORY AND PAPERWORK IMPACT STATEMENT

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires each report accompanying a bill to evaluate the 
regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that S. 256 will 
have minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with the Standing Rules of the Senate and the 
Committee Rules, subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate is waived. In the opinion of the Committee, 
it is necessary to dispense with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of 
the Standing Rules of the Senate in order to expedite the 
business of the Senate.