JOLIET, Ill. – As parents prepare to send their children back to colleges and universities, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is highlighting bipartisan cooperation that protected funding for Illinois’ colleges and universities over the next fiscal year.
“Over the past three years, state colleges and universities have seen significant cuts in funding, which forced students to go without financial aid and universities to cut programs and staff,” Manley said. “Some of our universities were even threatened with losing their accreditation due to the budget crisis. This was unsustainable and underscores some of the important reasons Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a bipartisan budget.”
Without a full-year budget, many colleges in Illinois have risked losing their accreditation as they cut programs and staff to balance their budget. To prevent this from happening, Manley supported a bipartisan budget plan that would provide funding for community colleges and state universities at 90 percent of their original level. The budget also increased funding for the Monetary Award Program, which provides financial aid to low-income students for their education.
“Having a budget in place provides stability and certainty for Joliet Junior College and other institutions of higher education across the state,” said Dr. Judy Mitchell, president of Joliet Junior College. “This money supports crucial programs, services, and facilities that ultimately support student development and success at JJC. We truly appreciate Rep. Manley’s commitment to protecting higher education.”
“An educated and highly-trained workforce helps strengthen our local economy,” Manley said. “Without local world-class colleges and universities to attend in Illinois, young adults will go to school out of state. Most of the time, these students do not come back to the state to work, create businesses and grow the economy. Not only with the decision to fund our colleges support our communities now, but it will help lift up the middle-class and build a better future for Illinois.”