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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Another Illinois Community College Laying Off Staff Due To Budget Impasse

Parkland College

Parkland College in Champaign will begin layoffs next week as a result of the state budget standoff.

Parkland President Tom Ramage says nine positions will be cut. That’s to make up another half-million dollars in cuts made necessary by a lack of state funding. 

The layoffs follow an initial round of staff reductions using a voluntary separation program. That’s expected to save just over $1 million.

Ramage’s announcement comes after Parkland Trustees voted to raise tuition by more than 11 percent. Ramage says Parkland would rather do that than hurt the quality of programs.

“We can always look at reductions later on.  But going into the first part of the fiscal year, we have to have that revenue, that baseline revenue, that we need to operate at the way the community expects Parkland College to operate,” Ramage said. “We haven’t touched any programs, any student impacted programs yet, but we’re not far away.”

Parkland started the current fiscal year with 492 full time staff. Ramage says the school will start the next one with 445 -- a reduction that includes retirements and resignations, as well as layoffs and voluntary separations.

Ramage says Parkland is making budget plans for fiscal year 2017, assuming a 50 percent reduction in state funding.

Illinois is in its eighth month without a budget. Other schools including Rock Valley College previously announced spending cuts due to the state budget impasse.