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Highland President attends Illinois Community College Board hearing on funding concerns
9/9/2008

Highland President attends Illinois Community College Board hearing on funding concerns

Highland Community College President, Dr. Joe Kanosky, attended an Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Budget and Finance Committee hearing at Illinois Central College in East Peoria on September 8. Testimony was heard regarding the critical state of funding for community colleges. It was the second of three planned meetings to gather information on the impact of current funding for Illinois community colleges.

It has been downhill since 2004 as the states financial condition has seen most of the restricted grant funding streams either dwindle or disappear entirely, President Kanosky reported to the committee. For fiscal year 2009 the cuts to the state budget for Highland amount to a reduction in state funding of $133,000 from the amount received in fiscal year 2008.

President Kanosky listed several state funding sources that have been eliminated or severely cut in recent years, including the Workforce Development Grant that has been cut by nearly 85%, as well as the Illinois Veterans Grant that has been under-funded three of the past four years. Highland will not turn away any veteran, but such un-funded or under-funded mandates amount to the state making promises that the local district must keep.

Addressing the share of state and local funding of Illinois community colleges, Dr. Kanosky explained that 47% of the HCC revenue will be generated from local taxes and the original funding formula concept of 1/3 local, 1/3 state, 1/3 tuition has obviously gotten way off track.

The committee plans to hold one more hearing at John A. Logan College in Carterville on September 18. The entire ICCB will hear a report from the Budget and Finance committee on its hearings at the boards September 19 meeting at Rend Lake College in Ina.

Illinois community colleges serve about a million students each year in credit and non-credit course offerings-- representing 64% of the students in higher education in the state of Illinois. Enrollments are highest in programs that transfer to baccalaureate degree studies and in two-year career and technical degrees.

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OFFICE OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

815-235-6121
Fax 815-235-6130



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