Ill. higher ed wants a 16.6 percent splurge of spending

January 10, 2019

We’d have given a gold-tasseled mortarboard to be in the room when Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker got the news: The Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved a fiscal 2020 budget that would raise education spending by $314 million. If lawmakers agree, that would be an increase of 16.6 percent, to more than $2.2 billion. Oh — IBHE also wants $2.1 billion in capital spending.

Put yourself in Pritzker’s shoes. He’s taking leadership of a government that’s in debt to the top of the statehouse dome. He knows that one agency after another will demand — you knew this word was coming — fat new “investments” in their budgets. Witness IBHE chairman Tom Cross’ call for “reinvestment in higher education.”

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