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Illinois Legislators Discuss Education Funding in the QC

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"When there's no money, there's no money," says Dr. Thomas Baynum, President of Black Hawk College.

Dr. Baynum says he understands Illinois' budget burdens, but he also wants to make sure legislators understand the importance of education.

"We're preparing the work force for the next generation of the 21st century so we need to make sure we have access for our students."

On Thursday, April 12th, 2012, State Representatives Don Moffitt, Pat Verschoore, and Rich Morthland sat down with Black Hawk College's Board of Trustees at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.

Some of the issues on the agenda included pension reform, MAP grants, and state funding for community colleges.

Recently, funds dried up for Illinois' MAP grants program, which provide more than 140,000 students with financial aid to help pay for their tuition.

Dr. Baynum says the legislative forum is an opportunity to catch up on what's going on at the State Capitol in Springfield and also let legislators know what they need at Black Hawk College.

"We're constantly concerned about the students and tuition and things like that, but at the same time we're concerned about making sure our doors stay open and that we can offer the programs that students are going to need and that our community will need."

Iowa's community colleges are facing similar funding challenges. A new report just came out that shows funding for community colleges in the state has declined 21% over the last 10 years, while enrollment has grown by 60%.