SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing her efforts to highlight the impact of the state budget impasse on the Metro East community, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, invited faculty members from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) to testify at a recent House Higher Education Appropriation Committee hearing in Chicago.
“Our educational institutions have suffered through Governor Rauner’s budget crisis that has lasted over 700 days now,” said Stuart, a former mathematics instructor at SIUE. “Because of his refusal to negotiate a budget, Gov. Rauner has starved our institutions of higher education to the point of collapse. This cannot continue, and the governor must come back to the table to negotiate in good faith on a solution to this crisis. I am continuing to refuse my pay until a budget is in place that funds these critical institutions and protects Illinois’ standing as a leader in higher education.”
Institutions of higher education have been largely unfunded as a result of the budget crisis, with only brief relief coming from the stopgap budget passed by the previous General Assembly. Teachers, parents, faculty and professors have traveled to Chicago and Springfield to testify on the devastating impacts Gov. Rauner’s budget crisis has had on the quality of education in Illinois, and to ask the governor to work to end this crisis. Dr. Kim Archer is an Associate Professor at SIUE who was one of the many educators who testified about the impacts of the budget crisis.
“As a professor, I have seen firsthand the impact that the governor’s refusal to negotiate has had on our students, my colleagues, and our institutions of higher education,” Archer said. “Our students can no longer rely on MAP grants to help fund their education,. Our faculty have had their resources cut and are trying to cover vacant positions we can’t fill. I implore the governor to compromise an end to this crisis.”