Carl Sandburg College Plans for State Cuts
Community colleges in Illinois are planning for large budget cuts, even with the state budget still undecided. Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg estimates it'll lose half-a-million dollars in state funding for 2016.
President Lori Sundberg says the estimated loss assumes community colleges will be funded at the same level as last year, but that's still uncertain. And, the college has already lost 5 percent of basic state aid, so further cuts by the state would make a big dent.
Sundberg says one of the biggest blows to the budget is the continued loss of equalization money, used to make up for a lack of state funding and property taxes. She says the program is under-funded, and more colleges are qualifying because of increased enrollment.
Carl Sandburg's enrollment has declined in recent years, and equalization funding has been cut by 94 percent since 2008. To properly fund the school next year, Sundberg says it would need 1.1 million dollars of equalization funding, but instead it will receive 160,000 dollars.
She says the college has enough money in reserves to spend the next six months deciding how to reduce costs appropriately. And, Sundberg doesn't want to make any cuts that would affect the classroom, but recognizes technical classes are some of the most expensive and may need to be re-structured.