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Higher Education

  • Senator Delgado speaks in favor of Student Access

    Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) gives a floor speech arguing in support of Senate Bill 2196.


  • Cunningham passes higher education reform package

    cunningham hiedcompLegislation product of investigation into perks for higher education presidents

    SPRINGFIELD—Community colleges and state universities may see a lot of changes coming soon when it comes to administration pay and severance packages.

    State Senator Bill Cunningham proposed a reform package after the Senate Democratic Caucus Report on Higher Education Executive Compensation revealed lavish perks, golden parachutes and a lack of transparency in hiring and firing of administrators.

    “This was about taking steps to protect taxpayers and tuition payers from abuse by college and university administration,” Cunningham said. “Lavish perks, like country club memberships, were forcing students to pay more and taxpayers to cover more costs when tuition was not enough.”

  • McGuire votes for bill to potentially end budget battle

    040716CM0732CLSPRINGFIELD — Today, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that closes an open wound in the 2016 budget.

    Some 90 percent of the state budget is being spent because of various court orders and decrees. However, the 10 percent of the budget for higher education and many human services remains unfunded. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) joined his colleagues voting to fund the missing 10 percent.

    “Our higher education and human service organizations are on the brink of collapse,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “We have given the governor yet another opportunity to stand with Illinois’ neediest college students and most vulnerable residents.

    “I hope that he makes the right choice this time.”

    In addition to funding MAP grants and operations for the state’s post-secondary schools, Senate Bill 2046 authorizes the governor to release over $470 million for the Department of Human Services to fund addiction treatment, mental health services and other necessary programs.

    SB 2046, having passed the Illinois House on Tuesday, now goes to the governor’s desk.

  • Senator Trotter argues the value of a budget

    Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) argues the opposition on the floor, imploring them to vote for a higher education budget measure.


  • Munoz helps service members get college credit for military courses

    munoz vets 041216SPRINGFIELD - Service members looking to obtain college credit for military courses may soon have an easier process when transferring credits to a public university or community college in Illinois, under a Senate plan that was approved in committee today.

    The proposal, which passed the higher education committee unanimously, requires the state’s public universities and community colleges to develop a written policy for awarding college credit for military courses taken through the Armed Forces.

  • Martinez initiative for undocumented students advances

    martinez 040516SPRINGFIELD — Undocumented students in Illinois are currently ineligible to receive state-based financial aid.

    Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is working hard to make sure that changes.

    Under legislation sponsored by Martinez, known as the “Student Access Bill,” undocumented students meeting the conditions necessary to be deemed Illinois residents for tuition purposes would be eligible to access state-based financial aid at Illinois’ four-year public universities.

    “Higher education offers a pathway to a better life, and all qualified students deserve a fair shot at competing for assistance to pay for college,” Martinez said.

    The measure does not require the state to increase spending for higher education or create a new scholarship program. It simply gives public universities the authority to offer financial aid to more students.

     

    If Martinez’s proposal becomes law, it is estimated that 1,500 students from Illinois’ four-year public universities would receive new scholarship opportunities.

    Financial aid includes any state aid or benefit funded or administered by the state, state agencies, or public institutions and universities, such as scholarships, grants, awards and room and board.

    The legislation does not include access to grants provided through the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

    Senate Bill 2196 is an initiative of the University of Illinois in conjunction with the Latino Policy Forum. Former Gov. Jim Edgar, other elected officials, public universities, business and civic leaders, faith based leaders, labor unions and non-profit organizations back the legislation.

    Martinez passed Senate Bill 2196 out of the Higher Education Committee today.

  • Senator Steans discusses Student Access

    Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) discusses the concept for Student Access at a recent press conference in the Capitol.


  • Senator McGuire discusses Student Access

    Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) discusses the concept for Student Access at a recent press conference in the Capitol.


  • Suburban senators: Save our community colleges

    bush morrison murphy

  • McGuire votes for human services and higher ed lost in budget gap

    McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — A spending plan to restore human services and help shore up Illinois’ embattled higher education system state passed the Illinois Senate today.

    Senate Bill 2059 authorizes the governor to fund programs and services not covered by the court orders and consent decrees that are propelling 90 percent of state spending. This 10 percent gap in the state budget has caused cutbacks in human services and endangered the future of state universities and needy students.

    “This measure can restore Meals on Wheels. It supports the drug, mental health and veterans courts, which are more effective than imprisonment,” McGuire said. “And it signals to students awaiting MAP grants that the state plans to honor its obligation to them.”

    Proponents of the legislation pointed to testimony of Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger in a hearing earlier Thursday of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, of which McGuire is a member.

    “Comptroller Munger made clear that getting in the queue at her office is the essential first step toward a non-profit provider a student, or a vendor getting the funds promised to them,” McGuire said. “Passage of SB 2059 gives the governor the authority to prioritize human services and higher education in the payment line at the Comptroller’s office.”

    The measure now goes to the House for approval. Passage there would send the bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his approval.

  • McGuire legislation to strengthen higher ed public-private partnerships

    mcguire map 012816SPRINGFIELD — Legislation to help colleges and universities in Illinois stretch the funding they receive from the state passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Wednesday with bipartisan support.

    Senate Bill 3023, sponsored by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), chairman of the Higher Education Committee, revitalizes the Higher Education Cooperation Act (HECA) by expanding sources of funding as well as the types of eligible schools.

    “A modernized, expanded HECA means state seed money growing public-private  partnerships,” McGuire said. “These partnerships will boost cooperation between colleges, employers and unions to train Illinois residents for the new economy.”

    The Illinois Board of Higher Education administers HECA, which gives grants to schools to foster innovation in academic and student success programs. However, HECA hasn’t been funded since 2008. SB 3023 will allow IBHE to create public-private partnerships with foundations and the private sector to make these grants larger. SB 2023 also allows the grants to be used at private institutions as well as vocational, non-profit and for-profit schools.

    “Last year Illinois slipped on its way toward the economically necessary goal of 60 percent of our adult workers having a post-secondary credential by 2025,” McGuire said. “Senate Bill 3023 helps get us back on track.”

    SB 2023 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee unopposed and will move to the full Senate for a vote.

  • Legislation to strengthen higher ed public-private partnerships

    031016CM0111CLSPRINGFIELD — Legislation to help colleges and universities in Illinois stretch the funding they receive from the state passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Wednesday with bipartisan support.

    Senate Bill 3023, sponsored by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), chairman of the Higher Education Committee, revitalizes the Higher Education Cooperation Act (HECA) by expanding sources of funding as well as the types of eligible schools.

    “A modernized, expanded HECA means state seed money growing public-private partnerships,” McGuire said. “These partnerships will boost cooperation between colleges, employers and unions to train Illinois residents for the new economy.”

    The Illinois Board of Higher Education administers HECA, which gives grants to schools to foster innovation in academic and student success programs. However, HECA hasn’t been funded since 2008. SB 3023 will allow IBHE to create public-private partnerships with foundations and the private sector to make these grants larger. SB 2023 also allows the grants to be used at private institutions as well as vocational, non-profit and for-profit schools.

    “Last year Illinois slipped on its way toward the economically necessary goal of 60 percent of our adult workers having a post-secondary credential by 2025,” McGuire said. “Senate Bill 3023 helps get us back on track.”

    SB 2023 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee unopposed and will move to the full Senate for a vote.

  • Colleges, IBHE sound warning at budget hearing

    mcguire 031016SPRINGFIELD — During a meeting of a key Senate budget panel Thursday, officials from the Illinois Board of Higher Education as well as several state universities testified to the dire state of higher education in Illinois.

    Colleges and universities have not had state funding in place since last summer, and the governor’s proposal for the next budget year would slash funding by 22 percent compared to 2015. State Senator Pat McGuire, a member of the Senate Appropriations II Committee as well as chairman of the Higher Education Committee, echoed the concerns of those who testified.

    “Dr. Applegate was right to describe starving Illinois higher education as ‘economic suicide,’ ” McGuire said, referring to IBHE Executive Director Dr. Jim Applegate.

  • Murphy votes to cut administrative perks, increase oversight of community colleges

    murphy hiedSPRINGFIELD – Several pieces of legislation passed through the Senate Committee on Higher Education as a result of the College of DuPage scandal that has unfolded over the last few months.

    State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) was a supporter of all of the legislation, which seek to increase transparency at community colleges and cut down on expensive perks for college officials.

    “Community colleges are great resources for thousands of students around the state. They are not opportunities for bureaucrats to take advantage of hundreds of thousands of dollars of student and taxpayer money,” Murphy said.

    The proposals, which passed the subcommittee today, will now head to a hearing in front of the full Senate Public Higher Education Committee. They include:

    Senate Bill 2155 – Requires the auditor general to audit one-third of all community colleges every year

    Senate Bill 2156 – Prevents perks, such as room and board expenses, from being classified as pensionable earnings

    Senate Bill 2157 – Requires four hours of professional training for new community college board trustees

    Senate Bill 2158 – Prohibits community college boards from entering new employee contracts 45 days prior to Election Day for trustees

    Senate Bill 2159 – Requires contract terms and annual performance reviews to increase transparency, and also forbids contract buyouts in cases of pending criminal charges

    Senate Bill 2174 – Requires four hours of professional training for all voting members of a university governing board

     

  • McGuire votes to restore funding for MAP grants (UPDATED)

    012816CM0908CLUPDATE 5:31 PM 03/02/2016:

    SPRINGFIELD — Following the House’s failure to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2043 on Wednesday, State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) released the following statement:

    “What the override sought to do was to authorize the governor to make releasing MAP grants a priority. The governor rejected this opportunity. My work to secure funding for Illinois' needy students, community colleges, and nine public universities will continue.”

     

    PREVIOUSLY:

    SPRINGFIELD — More than 100,000 college students in Illinois have struggled to pay for their education during the past seven months because of the governor’s repeated broken promises to them. Today, the Illinois State Senate voted to restore some hope to those students.

    State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, has been on the forefront of the charge to fund Monetary Award Program grants, which help thousands of low-income students across the state pay for their education.

    “Governor Rauner’s refusal to honor the commitment he made to these students has thrown into jeopardy the future that they envisioned when they enrolled,” McGuire said. “It’s imperative that the MAP grants they were promised get into their hands so they can concentrate on their education, not how they are going to pay for it.”

    Today, the Senate voted to override Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2043, which not only funds MAP grants for the 2015-16 academic year but also includes money for community colleges and career-technical and adult education as well. SB 2043 passed both chambers in January, and the governor vetoed it last month. The motion to override now heads to the Illinois House for final approval.

    “Students and our academic institutions as well have been pushed to the brink,” McGuire said. “I trust that my colleagues in the House understand this and vote appropriately.”

  • Cunningham pushes higher education compensation reform agenda

    cunningham hiedcompSPRINGFIELD—On Wednesday, Senator Bill Cunningham urged his colleagues on the Higher Education Committee to pass legislation that would reform the financial practices surrounding how higher education administration is compensated.

    The reforms were launched after a report revealed inappropriate financial practices occurring at institutions of higher education, including the recent scandal at the College of DuPage.

    “Our institutions of higher learning throughout Illinois have continued to be plagued by controversies involving excessive compensation for college administrators, which only cost the taxpayers and the students more money,” Cunningham said.

  • Senate votes to override Rauner veto of MAP, college funding (AUDIO)

    mapoverride

  • McGuire urges governor to keep his promise to college students

    021616CM0549SPRINGFIELD — With dozens of students and other higher education supporters gathered for support, Senate Democrats delivered to the governor today legislation giving him the authority to honor his commitment to lower-income college students.

    After a press conference about the need for Monetary Award Program grants, State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) helped personally walk Senate Bill 2043 to the governor’s office.

    “Over 125,000 of Illinois’ neediest college students need ASAP the financial aid the state promised them,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “The governor’s repeated refusal to authorize these students’ MAP grants is causing havoc in homes and on campuses throughout Illinois.”

    SB 2043 includes MAP grants for the 2015-16 academic year as well as funding for community colleges and career-technical and adult education. It gained approval from both the House and Senate last month and awaits the governor’s signature.

    “Governor Rauner chose to fund K-12 education. He saw the light on pre-K education, McGuire said. “SB 2043 now gives the governor the opportunity to support post-secondary education.

    “For everyone’s good, I hope he will,” McGuire said.

  • A second chance for students … Senate to deliver MAP plan to Gov. Rauner

    map grant mrSPRINGFIELD --Today, the Illinois Senate will deliverSenate Bill 2043 to the governor’s office. A news conference regarding the delivery of the legislation is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Capitol media briefing room.

    That legislation provides the governor with the spending authority needed to honor his administration’s commitment to students regarding the Monetary Award Program (MAP) financial aid grants.

    Even as the Senate was giving final approval to SB 2043 on Jan. 28,  Gov. Bruce Rauner threatened to veto the legislation just as he had in June. In response, Senate President JohnCullerton announced the Senate would hold the legislation for a couple weeks in the hope the governor would reconsider.

  • Sen. Van Pelt's own MAP Grant story

    Senator Patricia Van Pelt shares her personal experience with MAP grants and the lasting effect her education had on her life on January 28, 2016.