The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has announced that seven community college districts, including Kaskaskia College, will receive emergency funding. Other community colleges receiving the funding include Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Lake Land College, John A. Logan College, Rend Lake College, Shawnee Community College, and Southeastern Community College.
A total of $3 million will be distributed equally among the seven districts, with each district set to receive $428,571.42 in financial support for essential operations. The districts were selected based on criteria established by the board during a special meeting on December 7, 2016. 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 this criterion were also required to demonstrate evidence of measures taken to reduce expenditures that required a reduction in staff and programs.
“The emergency funds ensure those community colleges with the fewest financial resources can continue to operate while we wait for the General Assembly to pass a full, comprehensive balanced budget,” said ICCB chair Dr. Lazaro Lopez. “…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.”
Although the announcement is welcome news for the state’s most vulnerable community college districts, there remains a great need system-wide. In September 2016, the ICCB 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.
The Illinois Community College Board is the state coordinating board for community colleges. Illinois is home to 48 community colleges in 39 districts and has the third largest community college system in the nation serving nearly 850,000 residents each year in credit and non-credit courses.