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Bush budget cuts funds at tribal college

The president of a tribal college in North Dakota blasted the Bush administration's new budget on Monday for cutting funds to his institution.

United Tribes Technical College President David Gipp said he was trying to figure out how his school could be left out. "We don't exactly know what happened in Washington," he said. "We've asked the congressional delegation to look into it."

Funds to UTTC were cut in the 2003 budget but restored after complaints by North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, both Democrats. Conrad made Secretary of Interior Gale Norton visit the school last summer after her budget proposed the $3 million slash.

The Senate later restored funding to the school with its appropriations bill. Acting on complaints by Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), money was also restored to Crownpoint Community College, which serves the Navajo Nation.

Gipp said former assistant secretary Neal McCaleb promised there would be no cuts in the 2004 budget. "We have no plans to close or anything like that," he said. "Our enrollment is up and we have a high demand to continue what we've been doing for almost 34 years, educating American Indian students and their families."

UTTC is located in Bismarck and draws students from several area tribes.

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

Related Stories:
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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