Education Desk: Gov Signs Stopgap Higher Ed Funding Bill

Apr 25, 2016

Credit Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois/Illinois Issues

It’s official: Governor Bruce Rauner today signed legislation that provides a bit of relief to state colleges and universities desperate for funds. 

Nobody’s breaking out party hats, but the stopgap measure will provide 600 million dollars to be divvied up among a pack of universities and community colleges starving for state funds. Chicago State University, which is on the verge of closing, will get the equivalent of 60 percent of their 2015 allotment; other state schools will get 31 percent. Community colleges will get 27 percent of their annual funding, and the Monetary Award Program, which provides tuition aid for low-income students, will get enough to fund MAP grants for one semester. 

After some dramatic maneuvers last Thursday night, the legislation passed Friday morning with only two lawmakers voting against it. 

In a statement, Rauner said the bill doesn’t help the economy grow, but that it represents a first step toward compromise between Democrats and Republicans.