Education Under The Tax Bill, For-Profit Colleges And More Women In Med School

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Before you head out to celebrate the holidays and welcome the new year, here is our last weekly roundup of 2017. Education under the new tax bill Graduate students can breathe easier after learning that tuition waivers will remain tax-free, according to the final version of the House-Senate tax bill that passed Thursday. An original provision in the Republican House plan would have taxed graduate students’ tuition waivers as income. It was a controversial proposal and sent a wave of anxiety across campuses, leading to protests at dozens of universities. Teachers also get to keep their $250 tax write-off for spending their own money on classroom supplies, something the earlier House bill aimed to eliminate. For-profit students will get less money back than anticipated This week, the U.S. Department of Education announced action on pending claims from 20,000 former students of the shuttered for-profit Corinthian colleges . The Obama administration had completely forgiven the loans of

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December 23, 2017 at 05:55AM

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Education Under The Tax Bill, For-Profit Colleges And More Women In Med School

Education Under The Tax Bill, For-Profit Colleges And More Women In Med School

http://ift.tt/2BFAkoh

Before you head out to celebrate the holidays and welcome the new year, here is our last weekly roundup of 2017. Education under the new tax bill Graduate students can breathe easier after learning that tuition waivers will remain tax-free, according to the final version of the House-Senate tax bill that passed Thursday. An original provision in the Republican House plan would have taxed graduate students’ tuition waivers as income. It was a controversial proposal and sent a wave of anxiety across campuses, leading to protests at dozens of universities. Teachers also get to keep their $250 tax write-off for spending their own money on classroom supplies, something the earlier House bill aimed to eliminate. For-profit students will get less money back than anticipated This week, the U.S. Department of Education announced action on pending claims from 20,000 former students of the shuttered for-profit Corinthian colleges . The Obama administration had completely forgiven the loans of

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December 23, 2017 at 05:55AM

Education Under The Tax Bill, For-Profit Colleges And More Women In Med School

Elmhurst College administration hears from clergy, adjunct faculty on union organizing issue

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ELMHURST – A delegation of United Church of Christ clergy delivered a letter Dec. 5 to Elmhurst College President Troy VanAken’s office.

The letter had been signed by 104 pastors from around the United States who support non-tenured faculty’s ability to organize a union, which event organizers say the administration has been fighting, despite its connection with the United Church of Christ.

In the letter, clergy members expressed their "deep disappointment that Elmhurst College is seeking to use its affiliation with the Church to claim exemption from the oversight of the National Labor Relations Board in the efforts of its adjunct faculty to organize" and asked the administration to "find in the Church a partner for sharing in the struggle for justice and peace."

"We work continually with all of our employees to maintain a strong working environment for them so that we can offer the best learning environment for our students," college spokeswoman Desiree Chen said in a statement Dec. 6.

Twelve people had gathered at 2 p.m. Dec. 5 at the campus’s Frick Center in support of non-tenured faculty, including Elmhurst College alumna Shelly Ruzicka, communications and development director for Arise Chicago, a workers’ rights group.

"It’s pretty disappointing for my alma mater to do things that are not in line with the teachings that I learned here," Ruzicka said in an interview before the event.

She added those teachings included "honoring all humanity," "dignity on the job" and "learning about the world around me."

Matilda Stubbs, an adjunct professor of sociology, and David McCurdy, an adjunct professor of religious studies and United Church of Christ clergyman, discussed their concerns about low pay for adjuncts and lack of office space.

"It’s hypocritical…for the school to claim or use as a shield religious exemption claiming affiliation with a denomination that supports, clearly and for a long time, organizing," said the Rev. John Thomas, board member of Arise Chicago and former president of the United Church of Christ.

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December 14, 2017 at 10:01AM

Elmhurst College administration hears from clergy, adjunct faculty on union organizing issue

Tuition tax would hurt grad students

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As expressed in several recent letters to the editor and an excellent article by News-Gazette reporter Julie Wurth, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed by the House on Nov. 16 poses a grave threat to higher education in this country generally, and to the Champaign-Urbana economy specifically.

I would like to echo these concerns with my own story:

I’m a graduate student in the physics department at the University of Illinois, making a little more than the university’s reported living wage of $22,314/year for employees in my department. This is enough for me to live in this town, not to worry about where my next meal is coming from, and it is even enough to make modest payments on my student loans from my undergraduate education.

If this bill goes into effect and my tuition waiver ($18,056/year) becomes taxable income, I will no longer be able to attend the UI and live in Champaign-Urbana. I may no longer be able to attend graduate school anywhere, at least in this country.

Of course, the irony is lost on no one that the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” would in fact raise taxes on our community and cut jobs in Champaign-Urbana.

What seems to be lost on Rep. Rodney Davis however, is that the passing of this bill means the forcing out of this country’s most educated citizens, the forcing out of graduate workers in C-U, and the forcing out of his own constituents.

KAI SHINBROUGH

Urbana

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December 7, 2017 at 10:48AM

Tuition tax would hurt grad students

Former state senator, SIC alumna visit students

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HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) -

As part of Southeastern Illinois College’s “Pizza and Politics” series, social science chair invited former Illinois State Senator Duane Noland to speak to a group of 65 students.

Accompanying Noland was legislative aide and former SIC alumna Dana Hooven.

Hooven shared some of her trying times with students. In 2007, she was diagnosed with rare medical condition, an inoperable tumor located at the base of her brain. Despite receiving a less than positive prognosis, Hooven decided to fight. She later qualified for a medical trial that helped to reduce the size of her tumor and ultimately saved her life.

A mother of two, Hooven later returned to Southeastern Illinois College as a non-traditional student where she enrolled in the vet technician program. After joining the Model Illinois Government team and winning numerous awards, Hooven changed her major to political science. She helped lead the Model Illinois Government team to three consecutive championships before her graduation in 2017.

Hooven told the gathered students that everything happens for a reason.

“Always listen to your heart, follow your passion, and get involved,” said Hooven.

She is currently serving as a legislative aide for State Senator Dale Fowler, where she deals with public policy, constituent service and runs the Senator’s Harrisburg office.

Former State Senator Duane Noland encouraged students to ask themselves what more can they do for their community.

“Anyone can get involved and you should get involved,” said Noland. “Participation matters.”  

Noland is the president and chief executive officer for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives based in Springfield.

The association represents 24 electric cooperatives including Southeastern Illinois Electric Cooperative here in Southern Illinois. He previously represented the citizens of central Illinois serving four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives and also served two terms in the Illinois Senate, retiring as Assistant Majority Leader.

For more information on the “Pizza and Politics” series or MIG, contact Matt Lees at 618-252-5400 ext. 2216 or matt.lees@sic.edu.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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November 17, 2017 at 05:47PM

Former state senator, SIC alumna visit students

Bierman: When state doesn’t pay, school relies more heavily on students

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Lack of state funding spurs tuition increases over time


MACOMB – The Western Illinois Faculty Senate heard a financial report presented by Budget Director Matthew Bierman on the Illinois budget crisis and subsequent fallout since 2016.
Bierman explained that the bulk of his report is a recap on the last few years of economic activity with some projections “for us to consider and use as a dialogue.”
The projected income for the FY18 fiscal year was broken down into three different budget entities the university has, which are $46 million in appropriated funds (state and tuition), $47.8 million in auxiliary faculty system funds, which are “specifically restricted based on bond covenants” — and $60 million in grants, loans and fees.
As a result of the Illinois state budget impasse, many institutions had to cut their services. Bierman said “FY16 and FY17 was a mess” with WIU receiving just $14.9 million in 2016. The shortfall in appropriated funds for the following fiscal year was buoyed by the transfer of funds from various sources as a “stop gap” measure against the university potentially closing its doors.
Bierman said the university received in FY17 $59.8 million, which is “more than we had in 2015, but only because of the way they forced us to count it.” Money allocated to cover the funding shortfall was $31.4 taken from a stop gap fund on June 30, 2016, $8.4 million in emergency funding from Illinois Board of Higher Education, $6.8 million emergency action fund on July 6, 2017, and $13.3 million from a general relief fund.
“When we got into this crisis that the state wasn’t paying us anything,” Bierman continued, “it became less about budget and more about immediate cash needs. That took precedence in how we managed a lot of the financial problems in last two years.”
The largest source of funding Western Illinois University receives is in appropriated funds, which comes by way of state allocated funds and student tuition. Given the budget impasse lasted over two years from 2015 to 2017, the university relied much more on student tuition as a source of immediate cash flow.
Bierman reported that student enrollment decreased over a 12-year period from 2006 when 13,602 total students enrolled and 2017 when 9,441 students were enrolled. The total number of students includes both undergrad and grad students.
He also said that the university took in $69 million in tuition fees in FY17, and an approximate tuition income of $63 million for FY18.
WIU Faculty Senator and Professor of Sociology Robert Hironimus-Wendt expressed his opinion to the Voice that students are paying a higher tuition because “the state does not invest its resources and revenue in higher education.”
“It is perfectly rational for any child growing up in Illinois to be looking elsewhere for college,” Hironimus-Wendt said as he referred to a prepared list of tuition rates at public universities in neighboring states.
Hironimus-Wendt explained the data for his list comparing the tuition fees from WIU against public universities in Illinois and neighboring states was sourced from website college-tuition.startclass.com, which are:
• Western Illinois
University $12,889
• Illinois State
University $13,666
• University of
Wisconsin $10,415
•Purdue University
$10,002
• University of Iowa
$8,014
• Missouri University
$9,509
• University of Kentucky
$10,936

“The problem,” he said, “is not that our universities are flawed or that our faculty is too expensive or that our curricula are unjustifiable.” The problem, he said, is that “our governors and our legislators ignore the economic interests of the state, and refuse to invest more fully in the education of our citizenry.”
“I’ve heard for the past several (state) administrations they have been borrowing the retirement funds. So, the state builds up these long-term obligations, and the only way to keep the state afloat is to stop spending less on the public good, to stop spending less on social welfare issues like education.”
“In Illinois, your tuition is probably half or more of the cost of your education,” he said. “We’re putting the burden of higher education on the private citizen, and if we want to do that, heaven help us. We will kill our public institutions.”

Reach Christopher Ginn by email at cginn@mcdonoughvoice.com.

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November 14, 2017 at 07:27AM

Bierman: When state doesn’t pay, school relies more heavily on students

State task force eyes improving adult education

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NORMAL — Strengthening the transition from basic skills to post-secondary career training and increasing public-private partnerships are among the potential goals under consideration of a new statewide task force studying adult education.

That’s welcome news for Kerry Urquizo, director of adult education at Heartland Community College.

“Right now, we need to make more connections with workplaces and workplaces need to be more open to us as a pipeline,” said Urquizo.

“Adult education isn’t about getting students a high school equivalency certificate anymore. It’s about preparing them for training programs that can get them good jobs,” said task force Chairwoman Karen Hunter Anderson, executive director of the ICCB.

Matt Berry, ICCB spokesman, said task force members brainstormed about potential goals as well as improvements or problems that need to be considered.

Those improvements include greater development of soft skills and career readiness, such as resume writing, interviewing, communication and time management, he said.

Other potential goals include identifying successful pilot programs and expanding them statewide and fostering lifelong focus, he said.

Among concerns raised at the initial meeting was that while a lot of students are entering adult basic education classes at community colleges, not enough are moving into middle-level, advanced career training, said Berry.

He said competing interests can be involved.

“You’re trying to get them through the pipeline faster and into the workforce … but there’s also a need for the more advanced skills required in today’s economy,” he said.

One way that is being addressed at Heartland is through ICAPS — Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System — in which students take some academic courses at the same time they are taking preparation courses for their high school equivalency degree, explained Urquizo.

She hopes the task force will look for ways to expand that approach.

Currently, there are three assessment programs for getting a high school equivalency degree.

Mark Jontry, regional superintendent of education, said he hopes the task force will look at which assessments are the most successful.

He said the task force should ask, “Are people passing one at a better rate than others and how well are they transitioning into college and career programs?”

More than 1.2 million adults in Illinois do not have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate, according to the ICCB.

“The challenge for the adult education providers with the recent (state) budget problems is they have had their funding cut severely,” said Jontry.

Urquizo said 645 students went through adult education courses in the last academic year. That was lower than typical because of the state’s budget problems, she said, but it’s climbing back this year.

In addition to adult education courses leading to high school equivalency certificates, Heartland also operates an English as a second language program that has nine levels. It goes from functional English and workplace communication to academic English.

Urquizo has seen many changes in the dozen years she has been involved in adult education at Heartland.

She has watched it go from students being solely focused on getting their GED certificate to having them think about longer term career goals.

“The whole culture of adult education has shifted and I think it’s wonderful,” she said.

Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter @Pg_Sobota

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October 30, 2017 at 07:06AM

State task force eyes improving adult education