INA – Three hearings held by the Illinois Community College Board at different locations throughout the state will culminate at a meeting tomorrow on the Rend Lake College main campus in Ina.
Conducted by the ICCB’s committee on budget and finance, the topic Friday will be to summarize and discuss the results of those hearings about state funding for community colleges.
Aimed at resolving rapidly increasing tuition costs and diminishing public funds at community colleges around the state, the meetings were held in Glen Ellyn, Springfield and tonight in Carterville. They feature testimony from community college representatives including students, faculty, administrators, and trustees. State legislators have also been invited to attend.
The Budget and Finance Committee, co-chaired by ICCB members Suzanne Morris of Grayslake and Thomas Pulver of Glen Ellyn, heard testimony in Glen Ellyn from many students who are not returning for classes due to rising tuition costs, according to a release from the ICCB. The statewide average tuition at community colleges has risen more than 31 percent in the past five years and some colleges have had to shift funds meant for educational programs to necessary maintenance projects due to lack of capital funding.
“These increases are hurting the students that community colleges are meant to help,” said Morris.
At the summary meeting – 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow in RLC’s Private Dining Area inside the Student Center – the entire ICCB will hear a report from the Budget and Finance committee on its hearings.
“We are happy to be hosting the ICCB meeting at Rend Lake,” said RLC Vice President of Finance and Administration Larry West. “Given the current state of the Illinois budget, we feel this is a very critical time for them to be holding this series of meetings. We are hopeful that community college funding will be restored. The community college system is a valuable resource in educating the constituents of Illinois.”
Illinois community colleges serve about a million students each year in credit and non-credit course offerings, the ICCB release stated. Enrollments are highest in programs that transfer to baccalaureate degree studies and in two-year career and technical degrees.
Additional information about this release is available by calling Steve Morse, Senior Director for External Affairs and Legislative Liaison for the ICCB, at 217-785-7411.