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Today’s quotable

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015

* Illinois State University President Larry Dietz reacts to the governor’s proposed 31 percent cut to his school’s state funding

“Some areas that could be affected include tuition – as set by our Board of Trustees – scholarships, faculty and staff compensation, hiring decisions and maintenance projects.

“Throughout the process, I want to assure you that protecting the jobs of our outstanding faculty and staff is our highest priority. We will do everything we can to prevent measures such as layoffs and forced furlough days.”

So, tuition and scholarships are on the table then?

I believe it’s imperative that we strengthen our university systems. But this insistence on protecting the bureaucracy to the detriment of the students is preposterous.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

58 Comments
  1. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    – But this insistence on protecting the bureaucracy to the detriment of the students is preposterous.–

    Agreed, but it seems like anymore the University system is more about the establishment itself than about students. Illinois universities are becoming price noncompetitive and it’s not just the State’s fault.


  2. - ??? - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:04 pm:

    A head-scratcher, for sure.


  3. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:05 pm:

    State schools cost are already high. You can send a student to an out of state school like Ole Miss for around 25K. Kids will be leaving this state and never coming back.


  4. - John A Logan - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    I bet the unions wish they would have got their act together in the republican primary earlier.


  5. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    Do you want your sales pitch to families and prospective students to be, “In the last x years, we’ve raised student to teacher ratios”? Protecting workers also, particularly faculty, also shows potentials employees that they will be protected, rather than thrown under the bus immediately, if tough times come. As for tuition, what is wrong with raising it? Run things like a business the right wing always says, so why not actually start charging what consumers will pay?


  6. - Soccermom - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:11 pm:

    When the rest of us are still hearing about planned reductions in force, it’s hard to hear the universities say that they can’t lose even one mid-level administrator — especially if student numbers are going to be reduced when tuition goes up and scholarships go down.


  7. - Federalist - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    This is a typical statement one would expect from the pubic university Presidents.

    It basically says- “Governor do whatever you will, we have great jobs and will make certain that our pay increases and perks are unaffected, so do whatever you want as we do not want to rock the boat.”

    Can you imagine any other agency being targeted for a 30% cut and there being so little said?


  8. - NIUprof - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    I agree that there is administrative bloat at most of the state universities including NIU. But the U’s are between a rock and a hard place. The GA is essentially having the U’s self-fund themselves via tuition and other revenue sources with less and less state funding. If Rauner’s budget cuts to U’s go through, the state will only be funding 18% of NIU’s budget. This has led to tuition increases which has put college out of reach or more costly for students. It also makes it more difficult to attract and retain top notch faculty, faculty are teaching more, doing more with less, and not getting any pay increases. At NIU, we have not had a pay increase in 4 years, and the most recent one was for 1.5 percent. I think universities do need to make some efficiency improvements and cut costs, but a 31 percent reduction in one year is draconian, and could lead to many negative unanticipated consequences that will be bad for the state of Illinois in the long run. One final comment. Walker is doing the same thing in Wisconsin. While one can argue that the purpose of universities is to generate practical graduates who fill technical jobs, most U’s see their missions as broader. I think Walker, and to some degree Rauner, reflect a growing anti-intellectual ideology embedded in conservative doctrine. This to me is scary and worrisome, when someone like Walker or Rauner could think they could run for President (Walker who is essentially uneducated) and win the office.


  9. - old-pol - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:17 pm:

    I would like Dietz to publish the salaries of all university administrators. Academia excess is over. The idea that any administrator would earn more than the Governor, heads of DCFS, CMS, etc. etc. is incredible.


  10. - Anon. - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    ==protecting the jobs of our outstanding faculty and staff is our highest priority.==

    Translate that into Latin and put it on the university seal, and maybe no one will notice what a crazy mission statement that is.


  11. - Andy S. - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    i think you have to distinguish between faculty and staff. The former are really your line employees delivering the product to customers (i.e. the students). That said, the growth of administrative positions at universities, public and private, over the past 2 decades has been staggering and really does need to be reversed. Much of this growth results from state and federal mandates, but still.


  12. - Federalist - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:23 pm:

    By the way, in FY2010 the state gave $182 million in grants for students to attend private universities.

    One would think in a logical world, that would have to be ‘rethought’. But it won’t. And again, the public university presidents will never say a word about it.

    And you can bet that Rauner will not cut that either.


  13. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    ==- NIUprof - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:16 pm==

    Walker’s Wisconsin strategy included a proposal to change UW’s mission statement.

    ==- old-pol - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:17 pm:==

    Already the law that they are published buddy.

    http://www.ibhe.org/pa96266/search.aspx


  14. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    Lots of anti-University talk here. So, yes, let’s cut funding to one of the best public systems of higher education in the county. As the commentator above implied with the reference to “Ole Miss,” we should lower our standards to that of Mississippi. Seems about right.


  15. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    Universities can increase tuition to make up for the loss of state funds. However, there has to be a limit to the increase. Make it too high and prospective students will go elsewhere. Student population decreases and thereby does the funding in spite of an increase to tuition.

    The board makes the final decision. The board members can then allow a smaller increase and tell the president to make cuts. The board takes the blame and the president is forced to RIF faculty and staff. No doubt the pres has already started his list.


  16. - yinn - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:33 pm:

    ==I would like Dietz to publish the salaries of all university administrators.==

    Here’s the IBHE database: http://www.ibhe.org/PA96266/Search.aspx

    However, salary doesn’t always tell the whole story. I know of several admins at NIU who live in the hotel or student housing rent-free on top of their nice salaries.


  17. - Makandadawg - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:35 pm:

    All public sector employees deserve to be protected by their boses from unjustified attacks, political biases and falsehoods. Good for you Dr Dietz.


  18. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:36 pm:

    Pell Grants and easy student loans made it easy to jack up salaries and create beauracratic fiefdoms at the universities. Cut the fat, put the professors back in the classroom, and then ask the state for more money. This U of I alum is tired of watching the university’s reputation slide while the cost of attendance rises.


  19. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    ===By the way, in FY2010 the state gave $182 million in grants for students to attend private universities.===

    And thanks in part to this voucher program (MAP), Illinois doubled the number of students graduating from an Illinois college. There simply aren’t enough seats in the classrooms at the public universities to take all of the Illinois students that want to study here. That $182 million is one of the best investments the state makes.


  20. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:46 pm:

    Oh, I meant to add that Dietz’ statement was meant for an internal ISU audience. Yes, he’d be wise to choose his words more carefully in the future, but what was he supposed to say to his faculty and staff? “You’re on your own?”

    Full disclosure: I’m an alum.


  21. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:48 pm:

    Dietz is completely tone deaf to the public reaction to his statement. He might as well have said “Let Them Eat Cake”


  22. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    What is wrong with you “conservatives” that you take such glee in other people’s misfortune? It’s really disgusting. You all must lead terrible lives.


  23. - walker - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    Public education administrators seem to live in a alternate, entitlement universe. Never seen such waste at the state level as seen in the education world.


  24. - Concerned - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    Dietz just provided the ammo Rauner et al will use to prove that the cuts are justified. Dumb and dumber.


  25. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    Maybe its time to start thinking about the separation of school and sports. College sports are expensive and we should have much higher priorities.

    For more about the massive increases in University administration staffs and costs, google Benjamin Ginsberg from Johns Hopkins U.


  26. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:55 pm:

    I have two kids attending Arizona State business school in a top 5 nationally ranked curriculum, and the tuition and fees without scholarship is only $11,500 for two semesters. ASU is different from U of I in that they give scholarships for, well, scholarship instead of coming from a low income family or being part of a privileged minority, so they each get $4375 deducted for a total tuition and fee cost of $7,125 each. That’s a LOT less expensive than if they took the offer to go to UIUC.

    Low real estate taxes, GREAT weather, good and affordable state universities and JCs, growing economy and plenty of opportunity for professionals….why are you folks still stuck in Illinois?

    Oh, they have a lot better college football and basketball teams than Illinois too….LOL (not to mention the Cardinals being a lot better than the Bears)


  27. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    Oh, I forgot. Arizona has well funded public pensions and a balanced budget as well, not to mention my neighbor Sheriff Joe!


  28. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    Yes, well, Arizona also has you Bob, so thanks anyway, but I’ll stick with the cold.

    In case some of you missed it from yesterday’s thread, here is a gem Bob posted first thing this morning. Must have gotten up early to come up with this kind of brilliant observation:

    =Class warfare is over. The poor lost.=

    “Nope. They never bothered to enlist. Fighting for opportunity for education and employment was just too much work. They thought someone else would do the fighting for them, so they didn’t have to get out of bed.

    Kinda like when they were in school and didn’t bother to show up and figured out having babies at 16 and going on public assistance was the ideal lifestyle….”

    Arizona Bob and Joe Apraio. Yeesh.


  29. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    It is important to keep in mind that many of a University’s sources of revenue are not available to support instruction or student life. Grants and endowments are provided to support very specific projects and money cannot be diverted. The governor’s proposed cuts are actually bigger than they appear (or he would have folks believe) because they are in the area that directly funds instruction and student services. The money for those areas comes primarily from the state and tuition.

    My advice to the universities would be to parse their budgets and be very explicit about which funds can and cannot be used to cover the proposed cuts.


  30. - PublicServant - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    A 31% reduction in state funding that represents 18% of university revenues is a 6% reduction in total revenue. Just sayin…


  31. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==privileged minority==

    Seriously? Walk a mile in their shoes.


  32. - Federalist - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    @47th Ward

    Want to go to a private school go there- I did. No need for taxpayers to pick up the costs.

    Not enough seats you say. Of course not- never was and never will be. You miss a point that you obviously want to miss.

    NEWSFLASH! Rauner wants to cut $387 million from public university budgets- far more than any other agency. The MAP grants money should be allocated to these public universities.

    And why should private schools with huge endowments get in on this MAP gravy train.
    Choice should not mean that you choose and the taxpayer pays an often well endowed private school so you can go there.


  33. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    ===And why should private schools with huge endowments get in on this MAP gravy train.===

    Because they enroll poor kids from Illinois. It’s the students who get the grants. Why limit where they can study? Wny not let the market decide which college is right for these students?

    How big do you think the endowment is at St. Xavier? Or Quincy University, or Olivet Nazarene?


  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:26 pm:

    Rauner’s message seems to be - we one-percenters send our kids to Dartmouth and the Ivy League anyway, so what do we care if I make U of I and other state schools unaffordable for Illinois’ middle class and other strivers?


  35. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    When I graduated from ISU 40 years ago, it was very affordable for a middle class family. Now, not so much. But to say you’re going to be an “education governor” and think that should only cover K-12 is somewhat short-sighted.


  36. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    The needle has just entered the bubble. How long before we hear the “pop!!!”?

    Higher education is pricing itself out of existence. Student loans of gargantuan amounts given to folks who are pursuing impractical degrees like art history. Job markets for the majors many student choose are non-existent. The hue and cry for student loan forgiveness are rising. Is the bubble about to burst? Who knows.

    But Dietz makes that statement. Is he THAT ignorant of how that can be perceived outside academia? Breathtaking.


  37. - CapitalWatcher - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    Has anyone seen how much chief of staff Jay Groves and his wife make from the university? More than $330,000 by my calculation. Seems like substantial cuts could be made at the administrative level. Just sayin’….


  38. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:03 pm:

    @47th

    Seems we’re both in the right place, 47th. You’ve got a political job in a state that refuses to live within its means, has had Dems lead in creating a $111 billion unfunded pension liability, public unions who wanted to have their cake and eat it too so they didn’t complain when the GA was funding fat raises for them while neglecting pensions because the state taxpayers would have to eventually pay it anyway, the most incarcerated governors in the nation, one elected TWICE, a horribly failing overpriced public education system in its major city, and one of the most dysfunctional state political systems in the nation.

    All I’ve got is great weather, a state which balances its budgets and fully funds it public pension obligations, a state that protects its children by prohibiting teacher strikes, has about the most current and former military population in the country, and is comitted to growing job opportunities for its people and enforcing its laws to protect its citizens.

    I guess we’re both living in the state’s we deserve.

    The irony is that you’ll probably move to state like mine when your days of feeding at the public trough are over….


  39. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    ==- dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 2:41 pm:==

    dupage dan, can you cite some statistics for me? What is the breakdown of student loan debt by major? What is the specific evidence that “art history” is a driver of the student loan crisis?


  40. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:42 pm:

    ==Higher education is pricing itself out of existence.==

    No, the decisions of state leaders to cut funding for higher ed is driving up tuition.


  41. - forwhatitsworth - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    Hey Bob, Glad you enjoy that GREAT Arizona weather. My brother moved to Goodyear last July and had a difficult time adjusting to the 115 degree temperatures. Oh, I forgot … It doesn’t really feel like 115 because it’s dry air! One more thing, don’t come begging for some of my fresh Lake Michigan water when the Arizona water dries up in your Garden of Eden. Why do you constantly try to compare apples to oranges? By the way, Gala apples have replaced Honeycrisp as my favorite.


  42. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:44 pm:

    ==A 31% reduction in state funding that represents 18% of university revenues is a 6% reduction in total revenue. Just sayin… ==

    As I wrote above, the 31% reduction should not be compared to the overall budget of the University. Grants and many endowments come with restrictions on how the funding can be used, and it is generally for areas other than instruction. This cut will hit instruction and student services. If you want to know the impact, you need to look at those lines.


  43. - Midway Gardens - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:47 pm:

    Arizona - careful to invite too many people. You’re running out of water as it is.


  44. - the wonderboy - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    Let’s be careful to point our where the budget bloat is taking place at universities. The faculty at many of these state schools (ISU in particular) are not actually paid very well compared to other institutions. Full time pay with a Masters for a non-tenured professor at ISU starts below $33,000 and averages around $40,000. The increased costs aren’t funding the education of students.


  45. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 3:57 pm:

    ===ut the fat, put the professors back in the classroom, and then ask the state for more money. This U of I alum is tired of watching the university’s reputation slide while the cost of attendance rises.

    You realize that a world class university traditionally has a 2 course per semester load because where they faculty make their name is in their research. Those with grants then can also buy out their class time if they need more time for research. They aren’t lollygagging around outside the classroom–they are doing world class research. You don’t save money by having faculty in the classroom more-you lose grant money. And quality faculty.


  46. - Modest Proposal - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    Ever Since Quinn took out some of the best Trustees in the country ISU has gone downhill in the PR Dept. #BringBackBowman


  47. - xxtofer - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    As a student services provider at a state-affiliated (you can hardly say supported anymore), there are some points that can be conceded. Despite hiring freezes, people continue to hire associate deans and provosts and vice presidents for outreach and the like — none of which provide direct services for students. Meanwhile, a hiring freeze in the higher education system means faculty and direct service positions go unfilled. So yes, I would agree that a review of educational management protecting and perpetuating itself is warranted.

    But let’s also admit that there is a cost to EDUCATING students that goes beyond just being in a classroom, and these proposed cuts decimate the idea of education as a way to better oneself.

    Education is more, and should be more, than job training for future employment. If that is all it should be, we should disband universities and re-instate apprenticeship programs. There is something to be said for art history majors and philosophy majors and engineering majors — all are valuable to a society, even if our current governor doesn’t appear to believe that.


  48. - CapnCrunch - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 4:33 pm:

    “….If Rauner’s budget cuts to U’s go through, the state will only be funding 18% of NIU’s budget……”

    The situation is worse at the UI where the state pays only 15% of operations. Tuition pays about 24% of operations which explains why they want all those out of state and foreign students. If the State continues to reduce funding, at some point the State can just give the UI to the UI Foundation and turn it into a private school. Surely the Foundation can find another 15% from donors.


  49. - History Prof - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 5:38 pm:

    I am disappointed in most of the responses here. I think we should all try just a bit harder to get the facts straight before we post:

    Starting with Rich: “But this insistence on protecting the bureaucracy to the detriment of the students is preposterous.”

    There is administrative bloat. But ironically much of it is rooted in the need in extra student services that um. . . attract tuition paying students. We were leaner and meaner when the state paid 90% than we can afford to be when the state only pays 17% and going down. Now we need deluxe dorms. Back in the day, you got cinder block but hey, it was practically free.
    More importantly, for all the real damage that will be done here, none of this will make a measurable dent in the deficit. Raise taxes and get over it.

    Ahoy: Public research funding is unsustainable because it is over 80% tuition. Research is now funded in large part by tuition and community colleges and universities where little research goes are at a competitive advantage. It’s only a “head-scratcher” because you are not paying attention. The root cause is the de-funding of higher ed and research by the state. If you do not want research, say so. If you do, pay for it!

    He makes: Go ahead. Send YOUR kid to Ole Miss!

    Soccermom: That is a willful misreading of what Dietz was saying. How does that help the debate here? The universities may be administratively heavy, but you have to ask yourself why that developed. Students are the “customer” and that’s what they demand. You know what else they demand: easy classes. That’s what tuition-driven education means!

    Federalist: Do you have any idea what faculty actually work for? Good luck finding “savings” that will cure Illinois’s financial woes. Your whole ideology is a pipe dream. The savings are not there. State funding at ISU is already only 18% of budget. In terms of the Illinois deficit, it is nothing. We have been under-taxing ourselves for a generation here. That’s just the math. It’s also true historically and comparatively internationally.

    Old Pol: They are already published as a matter of course. Have at it! (And do a little homework next time you post!)

    Keyser Soze: Pell Grants have been cut to the point where only the very poor get them. Student loans have become the funding default. And there is some bureaucratic bloat. But the bottom line is that the state has already de-funded higher Ed and most of the problems you note have been caused, not by too much funding, but by too little. Bloat cannot have been caused by high levels of public funding because public funding has not been high. In fact, it has declined over the very period you say it has caused the problem.

    Walker: One man’s waste is another man, or women’s, major. If I, an academic historian, walked into your place of work and pointed here, there, here, there, “this is waste, that is waste,” would you take me seriously? Of course not. How is your comment any different? Does that mean there is no waste? No. But it means you would need to know what you were talking about.

    Don’t you all see what is happening here. Rauner has us all at each other’s throats instead of attacking the real problem, which is chronic underfunding of the public sector, including higher ed.


  50. - Carhartt Representative - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 5:44 pm:

    I don’t know how a university weathers that kind of hit without cutting everything. However, I think there was probably posturing going on there like when a suburban school district faced with cuts will usually talk about cutting the football team instead before a referendum instead of saying they’ll increase class size.

    Had he said, “The students will be fine, but we’re going to have to cut a lot of bureaucrats” would anybody care?


  51. - Federalist - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 5:50 pm:

    @History Prof,

    ‘Do you have any idea what faculty actually work for?” I certainly do! Probably more than you.

    “Good luck finding “savings” that will cure Illinois’s financial woes. Your whole ideology is a pipe dream.” Please be more specific. Your comment is so generalized that it is meaningless without further explanation on exactly what I said and why you personally disagree with it.

    I would be pleased to have an honest and civilized discussion with you.


  52. - Federalist - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 5:56 pm:

    @History Prof,

    Please understand there are going to be cuts and anyone who does not believe that is living in an alternative universe. Just saying that we are underfunding the public sector is a non-starter in the Illinois budget.

    I truly wish it were different but that does not change anything.

    So if you are saying that no cuts will be considered and that anyone who does a suggestion is in the land of pipe dreams then any discussion will obviously be quite brief and limited to “We disagree.”


  53. - jane_eyre - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 6:39 pm:

    Rauner’s cuts to higher ed is another part of his larger attack upon a dwindling middle class. Unions created the middle class. Community colleges and universities allowed the middle class the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to a) governing the democracy and b) the creation of new ideas, new industries, new sources of wealth. As I tell my students (I am an English professor) if you leave my classroom with more questions than answers, I have succeeded. That is what universities and community colleges do: teach people to ask questions. It is not easy to open up minds and it is inherently not efficient (making mistakes is part of learning) and it is not cheap (again making mistakes is part of doing research. If you are not making mistakes I tell my students, you are not risking and if you are not risking, you are not learning. Higher education works pretty well (see the enormous wealth that college educated people have created for this nation and the benefits created for the world) but universities are complex and fragile institutions–very much like the world we live in. (What century do you live in when a power line for your neighborhood breaks?) Without adequate funding a modern university or community college is unable to function, quickly erodes, and we will soon be in the position of Ozmandias.


  54. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 7:13 pm:

    It is interesting that the default assumption is that cuts must be made. Why? Do we value these programs? If so, how should we support them? Is there additional revenue available? Can we reform the tax code? Should we work our way toward a graduated tax? Should we tax some retirement income? Should we be taxing some services?


  55. - History Prof - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 7:48 pm:

    Federalist,

    What I meant, and I’m sorry, I thought it was clear, is that the idea that closing the budget deficit in a meaningful way by finding cuts will fail because there is not enough waste. That is the pipe dream, the lie at the heart of the modern Republican Party.

    Now I have a question. What did you mean by “more than you”? Did you mean that you were in a better position to know, or that you make more than I do?


  56. - History Prof - Thursday, Feb 19, 15 @ 7:51 pm:

    Federalist,

    We will see about the Illinois Budget and cuts won’t we. Does Rauner have the votes?


  57. - Arizona Bob - Friday, Feb 20, 15 @ 8:18 am:

    =Arizona - careful to invite too many people. You’re running out of water as it is.=

    Actually, we aren’t. Our reservoirs are full, and our water conservation programs are extremely effective.

    I live in a town called Fountain Hill, just to the East of Scottsdale. Our “Fountain” ,the highest West of Chicago, is actually the source for institutional and agricultural non-potable water. We treat the water from the sewer systems at our state of the art water treatment facility, and set it into the huge Fountain Pond for aeration before use. That’s the functional purpose of the Fountain.

    The problem is from the Colorado River sources that feed some of the ag fields outside Phoenix. That’s been low because of low snow falls in the Rockies, but we’ve learned to adapt by building hardened bottom channels (Central Arizona Project) and hardened reservoirs to minimize losing water to the soil where its not needed.

    One of the biggest governmental mindset differences I’ve discovered in Arizona is that here we invest in infrastructure with benefiting the people in our state. In Illinois the primary driver seems to be funneling money into the unions and politically connected contractors’ pockets.

    That’s one reason why out budget is balanced and our public pensions are well balanced, and why our school funding equity is far better than Illinois. Of course Arizonans made the common sense move to prohibit teacher strikes to protect the children and taxpayers, ’cause that’s the priority in Arizona. In Illinois the government bureaucracy and politicians’ “needs” come first, and IMHO that’s a big part of why Illinois is so dysfunctional.


  58. - xxtofer - Friday, Feb 20, 15 @ 8:35 am:

    Yes, let’s pretend to “care” for the children by prohibiting strikes, when all it really does is protect management’s rights to ignore legitimate issues brought by labour. Why would we need to allow people to strike when we can just make them work with little recourse?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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