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Public Statements

Delegation Supports Funding For UTTC

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Congressman Rick Berg today urged the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to continue a program that provides funding for Bismarck's United Tribes Technical College. In a letter to Duncan the Congressional delegation requests continued funding for the Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions (TCPCTI) program.

"We urge the Administration to continue its investments in higher education - and colleges targeted at tribal communities," the delegation states in the letter.

The TCPCTI program -- which has been operating since 1990 -- aims to train a workforce for tribal communities that have experienced decades of poverty. The program has operated under Presidents of both parties and receives bipartisan support from Congress.

The letter was also signed by New Mexico's Congressional delegation. Navajo Technical College in Crownpoint, New Mexico receives funding through TCPCTI as well.

The program has provided a critical source of core funding for UTTC, which is not a part of North Dakota's higher education system and does not receive state-appropriated operational funds. In FY2010, Congress appropriated close to $8.2 million for the program. The North Dakota Congressional delegation asked that funding be maintained at this level in FY2011.

The Honorable Arne Ducan
Secretary
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202

Dear Secretary Ducan:

As you make difficult budget decisions for Department of Education programs for the remainder of FY 2011, we urge you to continue funding the Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions (TCPCTI) program at $8.162 million, the amount appropriated by Congress in FY 2010 and requested by the Administration in FY 2011. The program has provided crucial educational assistance to our constituents and helped advance President Obama's goal of making the United States the world leader in college graduates.

The TCPCTI program has been authorized (20 U.S.C. 2327) since 1990. Congress most recently reauthorized the program in Section 117 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-270). Since its enactment, the program has received the support of both Demoratic and Republican administrations in budget requests. As this letter demonstrates, the program also receives bipartisan support in Congress.

The Department of Education has awarded TCPCTI funds to United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) and Navajo Technical College (NTC). The program has provided a critical source of core funding for UTTC and NTC. These institutions are not part of state higher education systems and do not receive state-appropriated operational funds; this federal grant is vital for the operations of these institutions.

UTTC and NTC are two components of a broader tribal college and university system that aims to train a workforce for tribal communities that have experienced devastating poverty for decades. We urge the administration to continue its investments in higher education - and colleges targeted at tribal communities - by provideing $8.162 million for the TCPCTI program in FY 2011.

Sincerely,

Kent Conrad
United States Senate

Jeff Bingaman
United States Senate

John Hoeven
United States Senate

Tom Udall
United States Senate

Rick Berg
Member of Congress

Ben Ray Lujan
Member of Congress

Martin Heinrich
Member of Congress

Steve Pearce
Member of Congress

Paul Gosar
Member of Congress


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