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Credit Rating Agency Warns Stopgap Budget Is Not Enough For Public Universities

NIU's Altgeld Hall
Susan Stephens
NIU's Altgeld Hall

Moody’s Investor Service is out with a warning that the just-passed stopgap spending plan is not enough for Illinois’ public universities.

On Thursday, lawmakers were extolling the measure’s support for higher education. 

Republican state Sen. Chapin Rose of Mahomet highlighted funding of Monetary Award Program – or MAP – grants, for low-income students.

“Pay out the remaining MAP grants from ’16," he said. "It will help our community colleges and also, very importantly, it will invest in adult education to put people back to work in this state.”

The plan also sends $655 million to Illinois’ four-year universities. But that's nowhere near what the schools were getting from the state a couple of years ago. 

In a statement, Moody’s analysts say the stopgap funding only provides temporary relief; it’s no long-term solution.

Just after the stopgap plan passed the General Assembly, Moody’s downgraded credit ratings for most of the state’s nine public universities.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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