Steve Balich Editors Note: It seems the cost of Education increases because the government will increase the amount of cash it loans at extremely high interest rates to students that have no choice if they want to go to college. Needless to say college for the most part is not a good way to get a profitable career unless there is a specialization learned. Students are told without college they are destined for failure by teachers and some parents. With that in mind outrageous increases in tuition will continue as long as the government provides grants and loans to students that think the sky will fall without that degree.
Most of the state’s public universities want double-digit funding increases next year, but one member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education said that’s just not possible without additional tax hikes.
The state’s nine universities last month turned over budget requests to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The board will then approve the requests and go to lawmakers to help craft spending plans for the state’s fiscal 2020 budget.
Across the board, the universities are asking for more money. Western Illinois University wants 36 percent more.
Illinois Board of Higher Education member John Bambenek said there’s no room for an increase from the state. He said the existing state budget is already out of whack.
“[The current budget imbalance] is somewhere between one and two billion [dollars], we’ve got $8 billion of unpaid bills,” Bambenek said. “So without extra taxes, without major tax increases, I don’t see how we can substantiate any of that.”
For the fiscal year 2020 budget that begins July 1, 2019, the University of Illinois is requesting an additional $97.9 million, or 16.5 percent more than it got this year. That’s a total of $692.5 million for the coming year.
“The request is well below the system’s peak appropriation of $804 million in fiscal year 2002, and slightly below the system’s appropriation for fiscal year 2015 when adjusted for inflation,” according to a statement from the state’s flagship university.
For next year, Western Illinois University is requesting a 36 percent increase from what it got this year. WIU trustees want $17.2 million more on top of the $47.2 million it got this year, for a total of $64.4 million.
“During … [2001 through 2018], unfunded cost increases have been incurred for utilities, Illinois Veterans Grants, CMS health insurance and other unfunded budget items,” a September WIU Board of Trustees resolution said.
Some of the university budget requests included details about various programs and projects to enhance the universities’ offerings, but Bambenek said the universities need to be honest with taxpayers after the more than two-year budget impasse that ended in 2017.