Illinois’ Significant Disinvestment in Higher Education
January 27, 2017
Center for Tax and Budget Accountability Releases New Report on the Cost of Disinvestment in Higher Education
CHICAGO – Between 2000 and 2015, Illinois cut nearly $1.4 billion from General Fund appropriations to Higher Education—even before the ongoing budget crisis, which has cost Illinois colleges and universities over a billion addition dollars. That is one finding from Illinois’ Significant Disinvestment in Higher Education, a new report released today by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA).
“Investing in higher education has always been important,” said Ralph Martire, Executive Director of CTBA. “But in today’s economy, the strong correlations between post-secondary education and economic viability make it more important than ever.”
The study details the drastic cuts to Higher Education in Illinois both during the current budget crisis, with General Fund appropriations falling from $1.95 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2015 to $755 million in FY2016 and $843 million in FY2017, as well as over the longer term.
“Between 2008 and 2015, Illinois cut per-student Higher Education funding by 54 percent—more than every state but Arizona,” said Danielle Stanley, CTBA Research Associate.
The report also underlines the cost of these cuts in human terms, including:
- Chicago State University laying off 40 percent of its non-faculty workforce and nearly shutting its doors last April
- The University of Illinois eliminating 484 staff positions
- Severe declines in enrollment in the last year, such as 1,100 students or 13 percent at Eastern Illinois University and 1,300 students or 7.5 percent at South Illinois University-Carbondale
Finally, the report describes how each dollar of funding cuts to institutions of Higher Education results in $2.29 lost to the state economy, as fewer students, and reduced worker wages, mean less economic activity generated by, for example, purchases at local stores.