The Budget Impasse Impact

December 28, 2016

The Chicago Sun-Times (December 21, 2016) editorialized about the more than 114,000 Illinoisans who left for other states in the past year, including higher ed students and faculty. Here's an excerpt from the full text:

The quality of public universities is at the heart of why many people choose to live in one state or another, and Illinois has long been known for some of the best....

Then came the end of state budgets. Since then, money for higher education has been sporadic, unpredictable and insufficient. Current funding will end with the expiration of the state’s stopgap spending plan on Dec. 31, and the universities have no idea when they will see more funding. They are in crisis mode: freezing hiring, cutting staff and delaying maintenance.

When a state cannot be bothered to write a budget, a public university cannot plan. It cannot offer certainty about tuition or faculty pay or what programs will continue on.

Should anybody be surprised, then, that Illinois this fall suffered a net outmigration of 16,000 higher ed students? Our state is losing bright young people to other states. They will embark on careers and offer their talents elsewhere.

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