Metropolis, IL

Opinion

E for Effort?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - Updated: 11:09 AM
On Thursday the Illinois Community College Board (ICB) announced seven community colleges in Illinois would share the leftover dollars from a stopgap budget that went into effect last summer and expired at the end of the year. This comes almost a year and a half since colleges and universities in southern Illinois have seen any funding funnel down from the state after the inauguration of Gov. Bruce Rauner in January 2015.
Among the seven colleges receiving funding is Shawnee Community College (SCC), which is based in Ullin and has an education center in Metropolis. SCC will receive $428,571. Also receiving a portion of the ‘leftovers’ in southern Illinois is John A. Logan College in Carterville, Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg and Rend Lake College in Ina.
While we are thankful (and assume the colleges are thankful as well), this bit of money is just a bandaid to the much larger injury the budget impasse has caused to Illinois schools — public, private, K-12, colleges and universities.
Illinois legislators, it’s time to move forward and fix this wound. Illinois’ colleges deserve more than just leftovers.
Your lack of compromise on fiscal budgets for our state is detrimental to our society and economy.
Every day people leave the state and move elsewhere in hopes of finding somewhere new to call home.
Just this past March the Chicago Tribune reported steep declines in not only the state of Illinois population but the population of the almighty and awesome Chicago and Cook County according to census data. In 2014, the statewide population dropped by 7391 people, and in 2015 it more than tripled to 22,194 people. The Tribune reported the last population plunge of this magnitude was in 1988.
It’s time we start figuring out what we can do for the younger generations to entice them to stay in the Land of Lincoln. Instead, our government leaders feel they should fight against each other.
What started as a ‘few months behind’ on the budget has turned into a year and a half meltdown and it has trickled downstate. If our schools can not receive enough funding to operate, why should people stay? A quality education for their children is a top priority for young families looking to relocate, and the budget impasse relays the message that Illinois legislators  are not serious about Illinois’ residents’ quality of life.
Today, the 100th legislature of the State of Illinois will be sworn in and begin a session.
Today, southern Illinois has a new face on the senate floor — Illinois Sen. Dale Fowler.
Today, let’s erase the line in sandbox and work together to move Illinois forward.
We are very pleased to see SCC gets some much needed funding relief, even if it is just some pocket change, and the ICB gets an E for Effort in helping southern Illinois.
State government definitely receives an F for Failure.

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