Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, Rep. Derrick Lente’s (D-Sandia Pueblo) bill that would improve Native American student success passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously. HB 151 requires a needs assessment to determine the services public school districts need to provide Native American students to improve graduation rates and college readiness.

“Despite the passage of the Indian Education Act of 2003, Native students are still not achieving at the same level as their peers in any public school system in this state. This bill would ensure we make smart investments in our Native communities so students can be academically, educationally, and professionally successful,” said Rep. Derrick Lente.

According to the New Mexico Public Education Department, more than 35,000 Native American students attend public schools across the state. Native students’ levels of proficiency in reading, math, and science dramatically lag behind their non-Native counterparts. This bill helps address this shortfall by closing the achievement gap for Native students.

HB 151 now heads to the Senate Floor.