* From Gov. Rauner’s State of the State speech…
We helped launch the Illinois Innovation Network and the Discovery Partners Institute, a U of I-led effort to link the power of great research with entrepreneurship and new business formation. What Stanford and Berkeley and Harvard and MIT are to the coasts, partnerships of the U of I, U of C and Northwestern can even surpass for Illinois.
* One bit of interesting react…
[Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Crest Hill], a member of the Higher Education Committee, was asked about the state of higher education in Illinois.
“It was a one percenter’s view of higher education,” McGuire said. “I’m really disappointed that the governor continues to be fixated on highly selective, elite institutions at the expense of Illinois’ community colleges and public universities.” […]
McGuire said he didn’t hear anything about the other 80 percent of Illinois college students who don’t attend elite schools.
He wanted Rauner to address why so many Illinois high school graduates were leaving the state to attend college. He called on Rauner to commit to investing in higher education and reverse that trend by ensuring funding for programs like MAP grants, which financially help low-income students attend college.
“What we’re hearing from our public universities is that the reason for the record exodus of Illinois high school graduates to schools out of state is because of the uncertainty,” McGuire said.
I agree with Rauner’s goal of strengthening the state’s elite higher ed institutions. But not everybody can attend those schools, so McGuire is also right.
* Meanwhile, here’s more react…
Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said he’d like to be encouraged by the governor’s address delivered Wednesday, but he doesn’t know what to say.
“At the end of the day, I don’t care if he’s a lone wolf or a head cheerleader, what the state needs is a governor to take charge, engage, and do the job, and that just hasn’t happened,” Cullerton said.
Cullerton said Rauner hasn’t convened a leaders’ meeting in over a year.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, said in a statement the governor has reached out to both sides of the aisle for things like education funding reform, and said more bipartisan work is needed to pass a balanced budget as well as meaningful property tax relief.
State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, didn’t hear how that would happen.
“I’m just really frustrated,” Bush said. “I just … there’s just been no substance.”
* Democrats, Republicans react to Rauner’s State of the State: Wheaton Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, Republican candidate for governor: “I don’t know if we’re reading from the same headlines or newspapers or articles about the state of the state. So it was a little bit mystifying that he didn’t hone in a little bit about specific directives that he is going to take control of.”