To: The Illinois State House, The Illinois State Senate, and Governor J.B. Pritzker

Protect Illinois Public Universities

Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed a $387 million cut to all public universities in the state of Illinois. With the state’s consistent failure to adequately fund public higher education, this 31.5% proposed cut threatens access to the quality education our public universities offer. Our students, our state, and our universities cannot afford any more cuts. The state must fund our future and fund it now. What was once one of the best public higher education systems in the country is becoming prohibitively too costly for working people and is destroying our economic competitiveness.

By signing this petition, we call on our state legislators to oppose these cuts to Illinois public universities.

Why is this important?

Since 2000, when adjusted for inflation, state funding for Illinois public universities has been cut by over 35%.

As a result, average tuition and fees for entering freshman in Fall 2014 was the 5th highest in the country and the highest in the Midwest.

Seventy percent of graduating seniors in Illinois have student debt that averages over $28,000.

Gov. Rauner’s budget would increase tuition by over 50%, gut programs, and lay-off staff and faculty critical to providing quality education at all Illinois public universities.

Public higher education is an economic engine for the state of Illinois. Not only does a college degree result in higher earning potential for our students and graduates, but an educated workforce is crucial to improving productivity, ingenuity, and scientific, technological, and entrepreneurial innovation. Education is what drives our economy, and it must be funded.

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Reasons for signing

  • Stop blocking educational funding for Illinois. We need our schools to stay open for our education and for those employed by them.
  • If the governor is truly interested in turning the Illinois economy around, higher education is vital. Without properly funded education, thousands in the education system will lose their jobs. Many small towns that rely on colleges and universities will have their economies crippled as student populations decline.
  • Not only did I graduate from NEIU with my Bachelor's in English, but now I work in their offices. Rauner's cuts threaten both the students and the workers who run the daily operations of the university. Rauner needs to end the standstill and work to pass a state budget that funds education, not defunds futures and livelihoods.

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