Illinois higher education funding will go to pensions, not students

Illinois is increasing higher education spending by 12 percent this year, but that money won’t benefit in-state students. Illinois State University reports that the additional funding will be funneled directly into a pension program for state university employees, the Huffington Post reports. The State Universities Retirement System (SURS) owes $17.2 billion in benefits beyond the assets it has on hand, according to the Illinois Statehouse News. Addressing this deficit will bring Illinois’ higher education spending from $3.2 billion in 2011 to $3.6 billion this fiscal year; at the same time, the amount of money reaching college classrooms decreased by 0.76 percent from last year to this year, from $1.62 billion to $1.6 billion…

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