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Funds restored to United Tribes Technical College
Wednesday, November 24, 2004

News from the United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota.

Good news for United Tribes Technical College; Congress has restored federal funding for the current fiscal year.

UTTC funding was included in the omnibus appropriation bill passed by Congress November 20. The spending bill provided $3.5 million for the college, which is $500,000 more than last year.

“Our staff and students can continue our programs with confidence,” said UTTC President David M. Gipp. “We have less to worry about now.”

The Congressional action reversed a recommendation by the Bush Administration for the third consecutive year that the college’s funding be eliminated. The appropriation is for FY 2005, which began October 1, 2004.

“Our Congressional delegation worked well to build bipartisan support,” said Gipp. Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-North Dakota) helped restore the funds in the House. Sen. Byron Dorgan, (D-North Dakota) increased the appropriation to $3.5 million in the Senate.

“We also received strong support from local and national tribal leaders,” said Gipp.

The National Tribal Advisory Budget Council supported UTTC’s funding. Support also came from individual tribal leaders including Jim Gray, Principal Chief of the Osage Nation, Tex G. Hall, President of the National Congress of American Indians and chair of Three Affiliated Tribes, Geri Small, former chair of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, and Wallace Coffey, chair and CEO of the Comanche Nation.

“It’s been four years since we’ve had any increase in funding through the BIA,” said Gipp. “It means that we can continue expanding our campus and increasing enrollment to provide services for the growing numbers of tribal people seeking education and training.”

The omnibus bill also included approval of $53.9 million in funding for the nation’s 22 tribally controlled colleges, including four in North Dakota: Sitting Bull College, Fort Berthold Community College, Turtle Mountain Community College, and Cankdeska Cikana Community College at Sprit Lake. UTTC does not receive funding under the tribal colleges act.

Months of work by tribal leaders helped the Congress restore funding for numerous other programs in the BIA and IHS with budgets different than Bush administration recommendations.

“This should be a message to the administration that these are the priorities in Indian Country,” said Gipp. “There’s a need for UTTC and the tribal colleges to prepare the workforce of the future.”

The House vote on the spending bill was 344 to 51 and the Senate voted 63 to 50.

Funding Tables:
BIA-OST | IHS

Bill Language:
BIA | OST | IHS/IAIA/NMAI

Statements on Funding:
BIA-OST | IHS/IAIA

Consolidated Appropriations Act:
Bill Text | Joint Explanatory Statement | HR 4818

Relevant Links:
United Tribes Technical College - http://www.unitedtribestech.com

Related Stories:
Congress approves $388 billion spending package (11/23) House passes Interior budget with little fanfare (06/18)
House funding bill rejects administration's priorities (06/15)
United Tribes Technical College names Student of Year (05/05)
Budget resolution barely clears House vote (03/26)
Bush budget slashes Indian education by $79M (03/23)
Editorial: Norton's shabby treatment of UTTC (02/20)
Bush cuts funds, again, for N.D. tribal college (02/04)
House panel restores funds to N.D. tribal college (06/25)
Norton says trust forced 'tough choices' in budget (02/12)
Bush budget cuts funds at tribal college (02/04)
Norton pressed on Indian funds (6/14)
Norton promises to visit tribal college (06/14)
Doing more with less at the BIA (3/26)
BIA cuts to schools questioned (3/15)

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