Higher ed funding bill sent to governor

Higher ed funding bill sent to governor

SPRINGFIELD – There will be no increase – but also no cut – in funding to Illinois colleges and universities under a budget bill sent to Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday.

Most schools, including the University of Illinois, will see "flat" funding for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Illinois House approved the measure (SB 2556) by a 69-47 roll call vote. State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, voted for the budget, but all area Republican representatives opposed it.

They complained on the floor that they were shut out of the budget process, and that the budget contained "pork," including programs that were ill-defined or had not been vetted in the House committee process.

Jakobsson, meanwhile, defended the decision to have higher education give approximately $35 million to the elementary and secondary education sector.

She called it "a good move even though it looked like we were giving it away," saying that university officials have said that more incoming students need remedial courses.

"There are more and more students who are not prepared for our higher education courses," Jakobsson said.