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Rauner Appears on CNBC to Tout University System He Decimated

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Rauner’s Failed Leadership Lead to Huge Drop in Enrollment, Tuition Hikes, and Lost Jobs

 This morning, Governor Bruce Rauner appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to talk about the state’s Amazon HQ2 bid and touted the state’s university system he called “second to none.” Left unsaid is that without Bruce Rauner, the university system would have been even stronger. Due to Rauner’s manufactured budget crisis, the state’s university system saw

  • Enrollment drop by 70,000 students with some schools seeing drops of over 10% in enrollment;
  • Tuition and fees rise 6.7% system wide at a time when the state was not paying MAP grants;
  • A loss of 7,500 jobs;
  • And bond downgrades for many universities and colleges, leaving five with “junk” bond status including Governors State and Northeastern Illinois.

On CNBC, Rauner spent time profiling the strengths of Chicago and East-Central schools in particular, but those were some of the hardest hit.  Illinois Economic Policy Institute found 78% of job losses occurred in the Chicago and East-Central Illinois, and nearly 60% of the enrollment drop came in the Chicagoland area. Chicago schools like Northeastern and Governors State saw tuition rise over 10%. 

When Republican Representative Terri Bryant of Southern Illinois voted for the budget deal, she said “I hope you will help me bring my university back.” Bruce Rauner vetoed the budget and called for legislators to uphold his veto. Now, he wants to brag about the state’s schools.

“Governor Rauner is without shame,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner touts Illinois’ education system to out-of-state businesses while cutting resources at home. He locked the state in a two-year budget impasse that devastated Illinois’ colleges and universities, cut jobs, and increased debt. Rauner’s failed leadership threatens the state’s economic future by leaving the state’s schools worse than he found them.”