Education, Local News

Pritzker touts higher education investments in FY24 budget

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s announced his proposed FY24 budget on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and highlighted the higher education budget of $2.47 billion, an increase of $219 million (9.7%) compared to the previous fiscal year. 

Notable highlights from the budget include a $100 million increase for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), an $80.5 million (7%) increase for public universities, $19.4 million (7%) increase for community colleges and a $2.8 million increase to the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program (MTI) to recruit and retain minority teachers.

“Gov. Pritzker’s historic investments in higher education are crucial to closing equity gaps and driving a diverse workforce that will ultimately lead to an inclusive and thriving Illinois economy,” said Illinois Board of Higher Education Chair John Atkinson. 

The governor’s budget proposal includes a 7% increase in operating funds or $19.4 million more for community colleges than the previous year — the highest proposed increase in two decades.

It also includes an additional more than $18 million in workforce training. This increased investment will ensure a robust trained workforce for Illinois’ current and emerging industries and countless good paying careers for tens of thousands of Illinoisans from all walks of life. 

The funding will allow Illinois’ community colleges to create new cutting-edge programs in several areas including advanced manufacturing for vehicle electrification to address the workforce needs in this rapidly growing industry, data center curriculum development to support employers as they meet the increasing needs of their businesses and to assist adult education students in today’s digital learning age, especially for those with financial or childcare challenges.

Other highlights of the budget include:

  • $100 million increase for MAP.
  • $80.5 million (7 percent) increase for public universities.
  • $19.4 million (7 percent) increase for community colleges.
  • $10 million for a new grant program to develop noncredit programs in Advanced Manufacturing and Elective Vehicle Technologies.
  • $1 million for data center curriculum development.
  • $3.2 million for a new community college Dual Credit Grant program.
  • $5.2 million for new community college Noncredit Workforce Training Grants.
  • $2.8 million increase to Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship to recruit and retain minority teachers.
  • $2.75 million to expand English as a Second Language (ESL) and for digital instruction in adult education programs.
  • $2 million to provide grants and supports to End Student Housing Insecurity.

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