IBHE Board Approves Higher Education Budget Supporting Equity-Driven Strategic Plan

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) approved a fiscal year 2023 budget recommendation that increases funding to support its equity-driven strategic plan adopted in June 2021 and subsequently endorsed by the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The budget proposal is $2.1 billion and would reflect a 7 percent ($139 million) increase for general funds, excluding the State University Retirement System (SURS). The IBHE budget reflects the three goals of the higher education strategic plan, A Thriving Illinois: Equity, Sustainability and Growth.  IBHE recognizes that now more than ever, higher education must be affordable to students and families. That’s why the budget recommends a $50 million increase to the Monetary Award Program (MAP grants)—a program that provides meaningful access to higher education for low-income students statewide each year.

At the same time, IBHE knows that colleges and universities must receive adequate and sustainable funding to provide top-tier education that prepares our students for the jobs of the future. IBHE is also recommending that these new funds be distributed based on equity, with more funds going to institutions that serve higher percentages and numbers of low-income students.  This will allow universities to provide additional academic and social-emotional supports to ensure students’ success, particularly for low-income students and students of color. In addition, IBHE’s budget recommendations also allocate an additional $535,000 to the Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program, which provides awards to encourage academically talented Illinois students to teach in Illinois schools in low-income areas. These additional funds will increase the number of teachers served from 90 to an estimated 195.

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