Dire Circumstances At KC Due To State Budget Woes
It is with great concern that I inform our public regarding the dire circumstances impacting Kaskaskia College as a result of the State of Illinois budget impasse. In short, our institution is operating on an essential-only spending budget, with non-essential expenses frozen. Student organization events and conferences, which are vital to instructional advancement and student development have been halted. Faculty development and continuing education has also been stopped. These actions immediately impact the quality of our programs which must remain on the forefront of the ever changing technologies and industry trends, in order to provide the quality education and employment opportunities for our graduates.
I also want to inform you that the College can provide the current level of services on the essential spending budget for no more than three months. Unless the Illinois government reinstates and disburses funding very soon, Kaskaskia College will have exhausted its ability to offer educational services without making drastic cuts which will directly impact our students. It is important to identify that state funding is not the only monies being withheld; federal funds that normally pass-through the State are also being held, including: Perkins funds, and Adult Education and Corrections grants.
Further delay of State budget approval and dispersal will cost us all more in the long run. Some agencies who also rely on state funding are losing access to quality economical vendors who can no longer provide services and products with no payment. New vendors, aware of the state situation, are charging much higher rates to compensate for payment delays.
Kaskaskia College is proud of our above average completion and transfer rate (55.3% for KC verses 46.9%, which is the State average), and we are very proud of the quality education provided on a daily basis. KC is the primary provider of quality skilled labor to the business, industrial, and agricultural sectors within our district. It is well documented that our transfer students who choose to continue their education at the baccalaureate level and beyond are more successful than students who begin their education directly with the baccalaureate institution. We fear this budget impasse will not only affect our current students, but generations of students yet to come.
We are asking for the help of the community to encourage our local legislators to take the lead and reopen the dialogue on resolving the State budget crisis and push for a funding bill for community colleges. Your action is needed now. We are at a critical stage in the life of our College, and are fast approaching the point of irreparable harm that may take years to repair, if not corrected immediately.
Please act now.
Dr. Penny Quinn
President and CEO