Thursday, September 29, 2016

Illinois State budget's impact on higher education will be felt for years - Chris Kaergard, Peoria Journal Star

Since the bad old days of Rod Blagojevich, state-run higher education in Illinois has faced budget challenges and reductions. In the last year and a half, with Illinois' budget fight in full swing, funding pinched off even more, Monetary Award Program grants to low-income students going unfunded, those problems have been even more exacerbated. In recent weeks, two political elders with unique experience in the state′s university system have sounded off to us on what the long-range impact might be. Jim Edgar and Glenn Poshard are from opposite sides of the aisle, but their concern was uniform. Edgar, the Eastern Illinois University grad, former governor and faculty member in the University of Illinois system, and Poshard, the Southern Illinois University grad, former congressman and gubernatorial candidate and retired SIU president, look at the problem not just politically, but through their time in the educational system and as residents of university towns. Most concerning to them, perhaps, is the brain drain. Edgar told your columnists that he feared students would stop considering the schools because they've heard about the funding problems, the layoffs and other woes.

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