The state's Monetary Award Program (MAP) is expected to see 3,000 fewer eligible students get college assistance grants this fiscal year, according to Katharine Gricevich with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget proposal seeking to slash higher education spending by $387 million next fiscal year "would have direct and devastating effects on individual campuses" and students, according to a new report.
The report by Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group, notes that Illinois has already cut higher education funding spent directly on students by $500 million over the past five years.
If approved, Rauner's plan to further reduce higher education spending by 31 percent in the 2016 fiscal year, beginning July 1, "would be catastrophic" for the state's higher education system and Illinois students who have "already been pushed past the breaking point by disinvestment in higher education," the report reads.
State Rep. Arthur Turner (D-Chicago) called Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget a "doomsday situation" that is compounded by a $1.6 billion shortfall from former Gov. Pat Quinn's underfunded FY2015 budget.
In February, Rauner proposed sweeping cuts to the state's Medicaid program, higher education, mass transit and government pensions to address the state's financial woes. The cuts aimed to combat a $6 billion deficit for fiscal year 2016, which begins in July 1, and the state's $111 billion pension crisis. But critics of Rauner's budget plan say those cuts adversely affect the poor and middle class families.
"It's gonna be tough," said Turner, who held a town hall meeting Monday night to discuss the impact Rauner's proposed cuts could have on the state. More than 30 residents attended the meeting held at Mt. Sinai Community Institute, 2653 W. Ogden Ave.
Minority working families are about twice as likely to be low-income than white working families at both the national level and in Illinois.
That's one of the key findings of a new report by the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative focused on strengthening state-level policies to help working families attain economic security.
Illinois is home to over 400,000 low-income working families, representing 30 percent of all working families in the state, according to the report. Low-income working families are defined as those with incomes below 200 percent of the official poverty level.
Forty-six percent of all minority working families in Illinois were low-income in 2013, compared with 20 percent of white, non-Hispanic working families.