NORMAL - As Gov. Pat Quinn makes the push for more education funding in Illinois, a study done at Illinois State University shows that Illinois' 15-percent increase in funding for the 2013-14 budget year ($3.6 billion to $4.1 billion) was one of the biggest spikes in the country.
Nationwide, higher education funding rose 5.7 percent, driven largely by increases in Illinois, California and Florida. Funding dropped 0.4 percent in 2012-13 and plummeted 7.5 percent in 2011-12.
In his recent budget address, Quinn focused more on funding for childhood education and community college and called for MAP college scholarships to be doubled. He also said without the income tax hike becoming permanent, drastic cuts would be required.
Officials at Illinois State University and other state schools have complained in recent years that cuts to state funding have created financial hardships, forcing them to further raise tuition and delay construction projects.