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Kaskaskia College Receives $428,571 in Emergency Funds

January 7, 2017

Kaskaskia College and Rend Lake College have both received $428,571 in emergency funds as the State of Illinois remains without a budget and no regular funding earmarked for higher education.

Kaskaskia College President Dr. Penny Quinn says the money will definitely help. She’s still hopeful the state will begin funding the college at previous levels very soon. Quinn says as the state budget crisis continues they are reviewing possibilities for additional savings and increased enrollment wherever they can identify them.

Seven colleges in all were selected to split $3-million in emergency funds by the Illinois Community College Board based on criteria established by the board. The criteria was formulated on the assumption that districts with the least amount of local property tax funding will have the hardest time operating without state funding. Colleges meeting the criteria were also required to demonstrate evidence of measures taken to reduce expenditures that required a reduction in staff and programs.

Illinois Community College Board Chair Dr. Lazaro Lopez says despite the action, community colleges across the state will continue to struggle without the adequate resources and predictability that comes with a full-year state budget and structural changes to fix the overall system.

In September 2016, the Community College Board passed a resolution declaring a state of emergency for the entire community college system due to the drastic loss of state revenue over the last two years.

Quinn also announced she has taken the option given to her by the college board to withdraw from the academic programs offered through the SICCM consortium. She said the withdrawal was predominantly due to the State funding situation. When combined with the withdrawal of two of the five community colleges involved in SICCM, the fiscal model no longer works. There have been no new students in the program since Fall.

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