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February 22, 2007

Board to Vote on Increase in Higher Ed Funding

IBHE 2008 Budget Targets Teacher Preparation and Nursing Education

SPRINGFIELD – Meeting in a special session via videoconference hookup, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) will act Thursday, February 22, on a $2.2 billion general funds budget for higher education operations and grants in fiscal 2008. The budget proposal reflects an increase of $45.2 million, or 2.1 percent, over the adjusted appropriations base of FY07, omitting non-recurring additions to this year’s higher education budget.

“This budget provides for growth in funding for all areas of higher education, while recognizing the fiscal constraints faced by the state,” Carrie Hightman, Chairman of the Board, said. “These recommendations keep faith with the Board’s priorities of affordability, competitive compensation, and performance-based initiatives.”

After Board approval, the budget recommendations will be forwarded to the Governor and General Assembly.

When mandatory contributions to the State University Retirement System (SURS) are included, the budget reflects an increase of $321.5 million, or 14.5 percent, over FY07 appropriations.

The Board also will consider capital requests as part of its budget deliberations. A total of $414.4 million is sought for capital spending in FY08 in the budget proposal, up from $354.9 million recommended in fiscal 2007.

Highlights of the FY08 recommendations include:

  • Public Universities
      • $1.34 billion, an increase of $19.8 million, or 1.5 percent.
      • $6.6 million for state priority programs in teacher preparation and healthcare education, bringing the total hike in funding to 2 percent.
      • $5.5 billion in the all-funds budget – both appropriated and non-appropriated, including tuition and fee revenue – an increase of $180.2 million, or 3.4 percent.

  • Community Colleges
      • $309.7 million, a $5 million, or 1.7 percent, increase.
      • $990,000 performance-based initiative to develop or expand programs that address the state’s need for teachers and healthcare professionals.
      • All-funds recommendations total $2.2 billion, a $50 million, or 2.4 percent, increase.
      • Base operating grants for community colleges would rise $3.2 million (1.6 percent) to $201 million.
      • $79.2 million for equalization grants, up $1.8 million (2.3 percent).
      • $36.4 million for adult education and family literacy grants, an increase of $713,000, or 2 percent.
      • $12.4 million for postsecondary career and technical education grants, up $243,000, or 2 percent.

  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission
      • $411.6 million, an increase of $10.8 million, or 2.7 percent.
      • $361.6 million for the need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP), a boost of $7.3 million, or 2.1 percent.
      • $3.25 million for the Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program, which takes effect July 1, 2007. It will provide up to $5,000 annually for four years for nursing instructors who have taught for at least 12 consecutive months in an approved Illinois nursing program.
      • $8.4 million for the Silas Purnell Illinois Incentive for Access (IIA) Program, which provides $500 grants to freshmen with limited resources to pay for college, an increase $200,000 (2.4 percent).

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Diversity Initiative
      • $1 million to increase participation in STEM fields for students from underrepresented groups.
      • The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) would receive $100,000 to expand its Excellence 2000+ Program, which currently receives $450,000 in state funding.
      • The Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program (CAHMCP) would get $900,000 of the diversity grant.

  • Integrated Student Information System Initiative
      • $600,000 for an project designed to continue progress in establishing an integrated P-20 student information system.

  • University Center of Lake County
      • $2.9 million for the an increase of $42,800, or 1.5 percent.

  • Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
      • $17.7 million, an increase of $265,000, or 1.5 percent.

“This is a responsible budget that is based on strategic priorities and focused on performance outcomes for the dollars invested,” Judy Erwin, IBHE Executive Director, said.


Don Sevener



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