For the Good of Illinois

Subscriber Special: Here's the Problem with IL Higher Ed

April 14, 2018 09:00 AM
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"What's the matter with Illinois higher education? While enrollments trended downward, pay and pension benefits spiked upward.
Soon, some Illinois colleges may have more
´╗┐staffers than students."
 
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There's no question – Illinois is in trouble. Whenever we open the books, Illinois is one of the worst offenders. In July we quantified 63,000 public employees making more than $100,000 each, costing taxpayers more than $10 billion. Watch FOX32 (Chicago) special segment here on Facebook.
 
Yesterday, we launched our investigation of Illinois higher ed. For the last two decades, Illinois public colleges and universities vastly increased the cost of their payrolls and lavished extraordinary lifetime pension payouts – but the institutions have yet to see a measurable increase in students.
 
Quite to the contrary, enrollments decreased by nearly 8 percent over the last 17 years!  
 
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  • Plummeting student enrollment. In 2000, Illinois public college and university enrollment was 534,615. By 2016, enrollment had fallen to 493,378. That’s a 7.7 percent drop. 
 
  • Massive Payroll and Pension Costs. Illinois higher-ed payroll in year 2000 was $2.8 billion. Today, current payroll costs $4.2 billion. But that doesn’t include 46,430 employees in 2000 who since retired and currently draw $1.8 billion in annual pension payments. These new retirees represent a heavy legacy cost on the underfunded system your tax dollars support. 
 
  • 13,300 Highly Compensated Educators Making $100,000+. Active, working educators comprise less than 9,700 of the 13,300 six-figure educators. The other 3,700 are retired, enjoying six-figure pension payouts every year.
 
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It's Your Money! Join the Transparency Revolution!
 
Join us on Thursday, May 3rd when the City Club of Chicago hosts OpenTheBooks CEO Adam Andrzejewski at their civic affairs luncheon. Meet our Honorary Chairman Dr. Tom Coburn. Learn more and reserve your seat at City Club today, click here.
 
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Jessie Fox
Communication Specialist
 
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski)
CEO & Founder, OpenTheBooks.com
 
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director at Large
 
 

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