WIUM Tristates Public Radio

higher education funding

Rich Egger

Higher education has been among the areas feeling the pain from the state budget impasse in Illinois as funding has been cut.  It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees, and, in some cases, close for several days. 

Illinois Information Service

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner struck an upbeat tone in his third State of the State address Wednesday.  He also tried to project an image of someone willing to compromise -- but in such a way that Democrats say he glossed over his own role in the crisis that's hobbling Illinois government.

The 93rd Illinois House District includes one public university and two community colleges.  Incumbent Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) believes she's served higher education well and she's running for a fourth term. Her Democratic opponent John Curtis believes the state should be doing a better job of supporting higher education and thinks he can help reverse course on the trend of declining state aid.

Illinois Senate Passes $454 Million More For Colleges

May 6, 2016

A $454 million bill to increase funding for financially struggling Illinois colleges and universities has cleared the state Senate.

Lawmakers approved the bill on a near unanimous vote and sent the measure to the House on Thursday.

Democrats who control the Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been unable to agree on a budget since July 1, and higher education institutions have been forced to lay off staff.

Thanks to a law signed last week, Illinois' public universities and community colleges are finally getting state money for the first time since last summer. Now, more could be on the way.

The bipartisan deal is sending $600 million to higher education.

But it wasn't spread out evenly.

Most schools got 30-percent of last year's funding.

Chicago State University got 60-percent.

Senator Donne Trotter, a Chicago Democrat, says that's because CSU was on the precipice of a shutdown.

Rich Egger

147 employees are losing their jobs as WIU grapples with a drastic decrease in state support for the current fiscal year and uncertain funding for the coming year.

Brian Mackey

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2059 Monday morning. The bill provides a short-term appropriation to the state’s colleges and universities.

Illinois university presidents were stunned last night as the funding measure they thought would provide the first state funds in almost a year suddenly disappeared.

Illinois colleges and universities have gone without state money since last summer.

Struggling Illinois Universities Testify Before Lawmakers

Mar 11, 2016
TSPR

Higher education in Illinois has been caught in a continuing battle over the budget. Public universities have struggled to make ends meet without any state aid in the first eight months of this fiscal year.

Struggling Illinois Universities Testify Before Lawmakers

Mar 11, 2016
TSPR

Higher education in Illinois has been caught in a continuing battle over the budget. Public universities have struggled to make ends meet without any state aid in the first eight months of this fiscal year.

A crisis management team has been formed to help Chicago State University navigate budgetary peril. State higher education leaders are working to prevent CSU from closing, after eight months of waiting on state funding.

All of Chicago State University’s 900 employees are on notice – they’ll lose their jobs if the governor and lawmakers don’t come through with cash.

The vitriol and finger-pointing over the gridlock in state government has amplified. University leaders are trying to keep their distance, even as they fight for funding.

Rich Egger

Representatives from across the higher education spectrum gathered at Western Illinois University in Macomb to urge the state to provide funding for colleges and universities. But just hours afterward, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure (SB 2043) that would have funded MAP grants and provided at least a bit of income for the schools.

Rich Egger

Low-income college students who were promised state help paying for their tuition will continue to go without it. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has followed through on his pledge to reject funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Rich Egger

A coalition of education, labor, and non-profit organizations is urging the governor and legislative leaders to cut the cost of higher education for students by providing more funding for its colleges and universities.

Rich Egger

Money can now be released in Illinois to local governments and community organizations that have been waiting for state funding since July. The Senate was in Springfield briefly Monday to approve the funding; within hours the governor had signed the plan into law.

Rich Egger

College costs and student loans aren’t being discussed enough, but maybe this month’s increase of student-loan interest rates will start something.

IL Colleges to Pay for Employees' Pensions

May 17, 2013

Although they're facing budget cuts, universities and community colleges have said they're willing to begin taking on employees' pension costs.

WIU to Slash Spending

May 14, 2013
Rich Egger

Western Illinois University administrators unveiled a plan to save $4.5 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013.

Making Higher Education Affordable to All

Feb 18, 2013

As state funding for colleges and universities declines in Illinois, the lieutenant governor said the schools need to find ways to remain accessible to a wide range of students.

The problem is multi-faceted. The state legislature has cut support for universities in recent years. Those schools then raise tuition. That means more students rely on financial aid, but the state has been cutting that too.

Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's office is touting a one-page analysis claiming higher education will suffer if lawmakers fail to address Illinois' pension problem.

In the so-called study, Quinn's budget office estimates that state funding of higher education will steadily decline over the next five years.

The projections show more money would be needed to pay for university and community college employees' pensions, which would leave less for schools and scholarships for needy students.

Rich Egger

The  Illinois House is considering a 6% cut to state universities  in next year's budget. That's nearly double the reduction  in  the budget plan that passed the Senate last week.

The  dollar amount of the cuts would vary depending on the size of the  institution.

Western Illinois University would lose nearly $3.4 million.

The  proposal also slashes $15 million from scholarships for needy students through the Monetary Assistance Program, also known as MAP Grants.