Democratic state reps support plan to move millions of dollars to SIUE from Carbondale

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Democratic state representatives from the metro-east are backing a $5.1 million shift in funding to Southern Illinois University’s Edwardsville campus from its Carbondale campus, according to a news release.

State Reps. Jay Hoffman, of Swansea; Katie Stuart, of Edwardsville; LaToya Greenwood, of East St. Louis; and Monica Bristow, of Godfrey released a joint statement backing the move being considered by the Southern Illinois Board of Trustees.

“We support the Southern Illinois University system and both campuses located in Carbondale and Edwardsville who have had a relationship of working together. While we support the individual mission of each campus, during the last two decades, Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus has seen a sharp decline in enrollment, with a decrease of 37 percent since 1999,” the statement read. “Meanwhile, the student population of Edwardsville’s campus has steadily increased, and the two campuses now rival each other in size. With equal student populations, the two campuses should get equal funding.”

Following is the remainder of the statement:

“Historically, the Carbondale campus has received more than 60 percent of available state funding, but Edwardsville is deserving of their fair share. Edwardsville stood strong throughout the state’s budget impasse, and even loaned millions of dollars to Carbondale. The Edwardsville campus is no longer just for commuters. It is a competitive University and deserves to be funded as such.

“Edwardsville’s location in the Metro East makes it a prime location for investment. Southern Illinois University’s Edwardsville campus has the ability to serve as a pioneer for workforce training, increasing opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation. Additionally, with its close proximity to Scott Air Force Base, the Edwardsville campus also attracts students with a strong work ethic and a need for continued educational opportunities.

“We urge the Board of Trustees to vote in favor of a shift in funding to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. By fairly funding Edwardsville, we can continue attracting the best and the brightest students and work to halt the exodus of Illinois students to out-of-state schools.”

Republican lawmakers closer to Carbondale, in their own news release, urged caution with the plan for reallocating money.

“The Carbondale campus is currently working through the first steps of a reorganization that has not really been given a chance to start working,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro. “I’m concerned there is a push to make a quick decision to divert funds from Carbondale to Edwardsville by a Board of Trustees that currently has a vacant seat. We’re talking about moving a lot of money out of Carbondale’s economy. I think we should slow down, study this, and at the very least have a fully-slated Board of Trustees before making such a vitally important decision.”

State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, called for a careful study of any change.

“Although I support evaluating and potentially updating the funding ratio between the two universities, any such change should only occur after a careful study, conducted in a process that has the support of the full board of trustees,” Schimpf said. “The current proposal is scheduled to go before an incomplete Board of Trustees, without the benefit of outside, impartial study, at a time when SIUC is in the midst of a reorganization. I urge the University President and the Chair of the Board of Trustees to rethink their decision to press ahead with this vote.”

Messages to state Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, and state Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, were not immediately returned.

The SIU Board of Trustees is scheduled to discuss the matter Wednesday and vote on the proposed shift Thursday.

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April 11, 2018 at 01:51PM

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Democratic state reps support plan to move millions of dollars to SIUE from Carbondale

Our college students are leaving Illinois in big numbers

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Megan Carmean was one of the 31,477.

In 2016, the Leonore native left home to go away to college in Iowa. That same year, the number of Illinois residents enrolled in an out-of-state four-year institution was 31,477, the Illinois Board of Higher Education reports.

That number was 16,987 students in 2000. Illinois had the second greatest net loss of residents to other states’ colleges in 2016, the board reports.

Carmean, a sophomore, is studying nursing at Luther College in Iowa. She said she enjoys Iowa more than Illinois, and is not sure if she’ll come back after college.

“I like it up here as far as the atmosphere,” she said.

It depends on the job offers she gets after graduation, but she plans on staying around her current area, and she realizes that’s two years away.

When Mike Phillips went to college in the 1980s, it was much cheaper to stay in Illinois, the Illinois Valley Community College instructor said.

Phillips is on the Illinois Board of Higher Education Faculty Advisory Council, so he’s aware of how many students are leaving the state.

Cost is an issue

Addison Lijewski, a 2015 La Salle-Peru Township High School graduate, applied to the University of Missouri on a whim, but she said she ended up falling in love with the college.

And guess what? It was cheaper for her to attend the Missouri college as an out-of-state resident than it was for her to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an Illinois resident.

Now that she’s a Missouri resident, her tuition, roughly $11,000, is cheaper than any four-year public Illinois college, according to CollegeIllinois.org.

Cost is a huge factor when it comes to these students leaving Illinois, Phillips said.

Students have the perception it’s no more or less expensive to attend an out-of-state college, Phillips said.

“These out-of-state universities have been actively recruiting Illinois students,” he said, referring to programs such as the Midwest Student Exchange Program, which gives students discounts to certain colleges.

St. Bede Academy senior Maggie Daluga was offered academic scholarships that will cut the tuition in half for both the colleges she’s considering: Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta or the University of Pittsburgh, the Princeton resident said.

She said her tuition at either college will be cheaper than it would be at the U. of I.

State problems create issues

Although the two-year budget impasse had immediate and longtime consequences, IVCC worked toward making sure students knew the college supported them. said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.

When MAP grant funding from the state was uncertain, IVCC was one of a handful of community colleges to cover the costs for students, he said.

It will be a long time before the state can recover, but he said he’s optimistic for the future.

Rumors of colleges closing from the state budget stalemate, may have deterred students from staying in Illinois, Phillips said.

When students are searching for colleges to attend, they’re not going to attend a college they heard might possibly close, he said.

What problems come from them leaving?

There’s no data to support this, but Phillips said he worries that if a student is already thinking about going to Iowa instead of Illinois State University, the student probably wonders, ‘why should I go to IVCC?’

IVCC’s credits transfer just fine out of state, he said.

Many of the students who leave to get their four-year degree outside the state don’t come back, he said.

JP Perona, a 2012 St. Bede graduate from La Salle, said he recently was offered a job in Chicago, but he doesn’t see himself returning to live in the Illinois Valley. Perona attended the University of San Diego in California.

If we want our economy to grow, we’ve got to grow colleges because these institutions provide an economic base, Phillips said.

There’s a correlation between colleges losing financial support and seeing students leave the state, and keeping students in Illinois is an investment in the state’s future, he said.

When asked if this vast number of students leaving will have an effect on the local economy, La Salle-Peru Township High School superintendent Steven Wrobleski said this could affect our ability to find a qualified workforce, and he also mentioned “brain drain,” which is when educated or highly trained people leave particular areas.

Are there ways to combat the issue?

The council Phillips is on talks about fixing the problem, but the issue comes down to getting college funding back from the state, he said.

Many local students who left Illinois said their major or specific program they entered into was a deciding factor. Does state funding have anything do with this?

“As funding has been cut, universities have had to cut back on programs. Generally, they cut the size of programs,” Phillips said.

When programs get smaller, they are less able to market themselves and can have less appeal to students, which is difficult to change if funding stays low, he said.

“It results in the impression that programs do not exist, when, in many cases, they are just very small,” he said.

High schools look out for students

“Whatever is best for them, that’s what we want,” said St. Bede guidance director Theresa Bernabei.

The school looks out for what is best academically and financially for students.

“Our role in preparing and planning for college is to help students find what they consider to be the best fit for them academically, socially, emotionally, etc.” said Andy Berlinski, principal at Princeton High School.

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and countyreporter@newstrib.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_PutnamCo.







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March 22, 2018 at 10:24AM

Our college students are leaving Illinois in big numbers

Illinois AARP Calls for End to State Budget Crisis

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Leaders of the Illinois AARP say Illinois’ budget crisis has gone on for too long and say it’s time to put an end to the state’s fiscal problems.

Illinois AARP President Rosanna Marquez says through their Enough is Enough Campaign, they are educating members and their families about the impact of the budget crisis.

“We have considered it our job to just make our members and their families aware of what the implications are of this long term fiscal instability.”

Marquez says the impact goes farther than their members over 50.

She says it is also affecting their children’s ability to affordably attend state Universities.
 

 

 

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March 13, 2018 at 05:25PM

Illinois AARP Calls for End to State Budget Crisis

Illinois AARP Calls for End to State Budget Crisis

http://ift.tt/2tNr5P2

Leaders of the Illinois AARP say Illinois’ budget crisis has gone on for too long and say it’s time to put an end to the state’s fiscal problems.

Illinois AARP President Rosanna Marquez says through their Enough is Enough Campaign, they are educating members and their families about the impact of the budget crisis.

“We have considered it our job to just make our members and their families aware of what the implications are of this long term fiscal instability.”

Marquez says the impact goes farther than their members over 50.

She says it is also affecting their children’s ability to affordably attend state Universities.
 

 

 

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March 13, 2018 at 05:25PM

Illinois AARP Calls for End to State Budget Crisis

Rauner’s budget proposal ‘concerning’ state university presidents

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DeKALB — Gov. Bruce Rauner’s fiscal year 2019 budget included cuts to public schools’ pensions and health care expenses.

During his Wednesday State of the Budget address, Rauner said pensions and employee group health expenses have grown, costing the state 25 cents per every dollar spent. Rauner’s four-year plan to cut pensions and health care for those in higher education, as well as public schools in the state, would be phased in at 25 percent increments per year.

“These shifts will save the state $696 million this year,” Rauner said.

The reduced spending could be used to eliminate Illinois’ $2 billion deficit without needing to enact new taxes, Rauner said.

“This is the kind of financial accountability that Illinois taxpayers expect, Rauner said. “It is time we lived up to their expectations.

Pensions and employee group health expenses cost the state more money during fiscal year 2018 compared to K-12 education, Rauner said. The fiscal year 2019 budget would shift those expenses onto those “who do the buying and make them responsible for the paying,” Rauner said.

Matt Streb, Board of Trustees liaison, said Rauner’s proposal to shift pensions and health care costs onto the university “is a major concern” for the other university presidents during Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting. He said the governor’s four-year reduction strategy also included a spending cushion.

“Rauner’s budget would provide the university with $82 Million in state funding, 1.9 percent lower than the university’s requested budget proposal to the Illinois Board of Higher Education,” Streb said.

“I want to be very clear what the governor proposed yesterday is the first step in a long process, and what could come out ultimately could be very different,” Streb said.









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February 19, 2018 at 06:25AM

Rauner’s budget proposal ‘concerning’ state university presidents

Rauner’s budget proposal ‘concerning’ state university presidents

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DeKALB — Gov. Bruce Rauner’s fiscal year 2019 budget included cuts to public schools’ pensions and health care expenses.

During his Wednesday State of the Budget address, Rauner said pensions and employee group health expenses have grown, costing the state 25 cents per every dollar spent. Rauner’s four-year plan to cut pensions and health care for those in higher education, as well as public schools in the state, would be phased in at 25 percent increments per year.

“These shifts will save the state $696 million this year,” Rauner said.

The reduced spending could be used to eliminate Illinois’ $2 billion deficit without needing to enact new taxes, Rauner said.

“This is the kind of financial accountability that Illinois taxpayers expect, Rauner said. “It is time we lived up to their expectations.

Pensions and employee group health expenses cost the state more money during fiscal year 2018 compared to K-12 education, Rauner said. The fiscal year 2019 budget would shift those expenses onto those “who do the buying and make them responsible for the paying,” Rauner said.

Matt Streb, Board of Trustees liaison, said Rauner’s proposal to shift pensions and health care costs onto the university “is a major concern” for the other university presidents during Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting. He said the governor’s four-year reduction strategy also included a spending cushion.

“Rauner’s budget would provide the university with $82 Million in state funding, 1.9 percent lower than the university’s requested budget proposal to the Illinois Board of Higher Education,” Streb said.

“I want to be very clear what the governor proposed yesterday is the first step in a long process, and what could come out ultimately could be very different,” Streb said.









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February 19, 2018 at 06:25AM

Rauner’s budget proposal ‘concerning’ state university presidents

Rauner’s budget proposal ‘concerning’ state university presidents

http://ift.tt/2ECz6vs



DeKALB — Gov. Bruce Rauner’s fiscal year 2019 budget included cuts to public schools’ pensions and health care expenses.

During his Wednesday State of the Budget address, Rauner said pensions and employee group health expenses have grown, costing the state 25 cents per every dollar spent. Rauner’s four-year plan to cut pensions and health care for those in higher education, as well as public schools in the state, would be phased in at 25 percent increments per year.

“These shifts will save the state $696 million this year,” Rauner said.

The reduced spending could be used to eliminate Illinois’ $2 billion deficit without needing to enact new taxes, Rauner said.

“This is the kind of financial accountability that Illinois taxpayers expect, Rauner said. “It is time we lived up to their expectations.

Pensions and employee group health expenses cost the state more money during fiscal year 2018 compared to K-12 education, Rauner said. The fiscal year 2019 budget would shift those expenses onto those “who do the buying and make them responsible for the paying,” Rauner said.

Matt Streb, Board of Trustees liaison, said Rauner’s proposal to shift pensions and health care costs onto the university “is a major concern” for the other university presidents during Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting. He said the governor’s four-year reduction strategy also included a spending cushion.

“Rauner’s budget would provide the university with $82 Million in state funding, 1.9 percent lower than the university’s requested budget proposal to the Illinois Board of Higher Education,” Streb said.

“I want to be very clear what the governor proposed yesterday is the first step in a long process, and what could come out ultimately could be very different,” Streb said.









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February 19, 2018 at 06:25AM

Rauner’s budget proposal ‘concerning’ state university presidents