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Illinois Board of Higher Education approves $180 million budget increase request

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Thursday, January 19, 2023  |  Article  |  Andrew Hensel

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has unanimously approved a $180 million increase for their recommended budget for fiscal year 2024, which if approved by state lawmakers would be $2.5 billion in taxpayer funding in total.

 

Board members introduced their 2024 budget recommendation Wednesday, saying the proposal was shaped to achieve specific equity, sustainability and growth goals. The IBHE board members also heard from several state universities about things they accomplished with last year's budget.

 

The $2.5 billion budget request is an increase from last year's budget, according to Ginger Ostro of the IBHE.

 

"Our budget and the $180 million increase builds on the historic budget for the fiscal year 2023," Ostro said. "There is also tremendous work underway to close equity gaps in enrollment, persistence and completion for Black, Latinx, low income and rural students."

 

The budget includes funding for statewide programs, according to Ostro.

 

"We are also recommending reappropriation of all the projects included in the Rebuild Illinois capital program and funding the certified levels for the State Universities Retirement System," Ostro said.

 

In April of 2022, Gov. J.B. Pritzker approved $33.5 million in funding through the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan for the University of Illinois Chicago, Western Illinois University, Northern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

 

The budget also included $35 million in funding for the state's Aim High Program, which offers incentives to undergraduate students looking to attend a state school, and another $7 million for the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship program.

 

The 2024 requested IBHE budget surpasses the 2023 fiscal year budget, which totaled $2.24 billion in funding, a $248.5 million increase from 2022.

 

The overall state budget for fiscal year 2023 is more than $46.5 billion. Pritzker will deliver his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year to state lawmakers next month.