Rauner’s Record: Holding Back Illinois’ Future by Starving Higher Education
Under Rauner, Enrollment and Jobs at Illinois’ Institutions Dropped while Tuition Rose
WNIJ/WNIU reports that, while in Asia, Rauner is promoting the “state’s universities and transportation infrastructure in hopes of attracting businesses.” In what is awkward timing for Bruce Rauner, a newly released report details the damage that Rauner has done to the state’s higher education system.
The Illinois Economic Policy Institute found that due to the recent budget impasse and overall cuts to higher education, there were 7,500 less jobs at colleges and universities, and student enrollment dropped by 72,000 students. Of the schools with declining enrollment, Eastern Illinois University saw enrollment drop 13%, Southern Illinois Carbondale 7.6%, Western Illinois 6.5%, and Northern Illinois University 5.5%. Illinois was already facing a population drain; now it’s having a hard time getting students to go to Illinois universities.
What also went down? Illinois institutions’ bond ratings and reputation.
The only thing going up seems to be tuition; Illinois families were already finding college cost more unpredictable, and the ILEPI found tuition rose 7% during the two-year impasse. While tuitions rose, Illinois was not funding low-income grants to over 130,000 students.
And this is the part of Illinois Rauner is promoting.
“Bruce Rauner’s salesman tactics seem to be bad mouthing the state and undercutting one of Illinois’ strengths,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner dragged the state through a two-year budget crisis that lead directly to huge job losses and enrollment drops at Illinois’ colleges and universities. As a result, job growth will suffer and middle-class families will find it harder to afford college. Governor Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership always put what’s good for his political future ahead of what’s good for Illinois’ future.”