Lobbying effort Wednesday

By David Beck

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the governor’s new tax plan and the potential effects it could have on businesses in our community. Unfortunately, what seems to be lost in this discussion is the overwhelming need in this state to overhaul our education funding, both for our K-12 schools and for Illinois’ institutions of higher education. Even many of those who disagree with the governor’s proposal agree that something needs to be done to better fund our schools.

The University of Illinois’s budget is increasingly reliant on higher tuition and more private and corporate funding. The citizens of this state should be ashamed of this growing crisis. The U of I and our other universities have an excellent reputation and have served us well for more than a century.

It’s time that our legislature renews the priority that our ancestors placed on state-funded higher education. If we don’t, the opportunity may no longer exist for many of Illinois’ children. The good news is that you can do something about it.

On Wednesday, April 25, Ilinois’ unions are sponsoring a Higher Education Lobby Day in Springfield. Buses will be leaving Champaign-Urbana from 304 W. Maple in Urbana at 8 a.m. and the corner of Wright and Daniel on campus at 8:15 a.m.

There will be a rally and lunch and then we will march over to the capital together to talk with our legislators. The buses will return by 4:30 p.m. All who care about higher education are welcome.

David Beck

alumnus ’98