Early each year, usually in March or April, the president proposes a budget to Congress that details funding levels for the next fiscal year.
On February 10, President Donald J. Trump sent his new $4.8 billion budget to Congress, which outlines several significant cuts to education spending. (Read more here.) The budgets of Haskell Indian Nations University, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), and the nation’s many tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) potentially face a significant reduction in funding unless changes are made by Congress.
In its 2021 budget justification, the Bureau of Indian Education noted that both Haskell and SIPI made numerous achievements in student retention and success, yet they may face a combined $4 million in cuts while other TCUs face an overall $4.5 million reduction.
In response to this news, the Indian Leader reached out to Representative Sharice Davids’ office for comment.
“While President Trump attempts to once again slash funding for tribal education programs, I stand with tribal students and leaders in rejecting this harmful budget proposal. I’m proud to have studied at Haskell, and I recognize the critical role that tribal colleges, universities and technical schools play in improving education access and outcomes for native students. I will continue to fight against these budget cuts and ensure we properly fund and support TCUs like Haskell.”
Although there’s little doubt that the president’s 2021 budget will face major revisions over the next year it remains to be seen whether or not the political will to properly fund TCUs exists in Congress.