Editorial: Students rally, Rauner doesn’t listen

Staff Editorial

Wednesday’s rally in Springfield showed everyone inside and outside of Illinois how much Illinois college students care about their education.

Unfortunately, that point seems to be unequivocally lost on the governor as he spoke to the General Assembly during his budget address.

“We must make the education of our children our top priority,” Rauner said as he spoke to Illinois lawmakers.

All his talk about increasing education funding, he not once however mentioned funding for higher education — appropriations for each school, MAP grants for students.

Instead he talked about funding for early childhood education and K-12 school districts.

What about the rest of us? We’re here too.

We’re sorry dear governor, but education doesn’t end when you turn 18.

For some people, it doesn’t stop at a bachelor’s degree.

For others, it goes as high as a master’s degree.

For the rest, they desire to attain a Ph.D.

Gov. Rauner, you are certainly doing a bang-up job of keeping the “Illinois is a terrible place to live” mantra alive and kicking – which is what public higher education will cease to do if this sideshow keeps up.

It will wither and die, and your callous disregard for our state will be remembered for generations to come – from the people who decide to stay in Illinois to transplants who went to find public education elsewhere and never returned home.

An article on Illinois Policy Institute shows that Illinois is the “worst possible state to live in,” while Texas is the “best possible state to live in.”

Doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.

When will you listen to the cries and shouts emanating from the over 916,000 students in public higher education whose future you’re helping to steal?

How many boos will it take as you walk around the Capitol Building from a college student who isn’t sitting at a desk but fighting for their constitutionally-mandated education?

Students from only a handful of schools came out to rally for their education.

How many will it take to see any action? 1,000? 10,000? 100,000?

What is your end goal, Governor?

Are you trying to drive over 12 million people out of the state? Because students will find higher education elsewhere and never return.

Are you trying to drive businesses that call Illinois home out of the state? Will businesses want to stay if there is a mass migration?

There is no doubt that entire families will uproot themselves to settle in a state that contain what families want – jobs and education.

We are one of two states in the nation that have no budget – Pennsylvania is the other.

How are you justifying this?

College students are waiting for a straight answer as you continue to slowly drive nails into our state.

The daily editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Daily Eastern News