Editorial: Bring back legislative scholarships? You’re kidding
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What can the Legislature do for public higher education after trimming spending for two decades and then watching as university budgets were whacked even harder in the last two years?
Well, it could consider reinstating scandalous “legislative scholarships” — all unfunded, of course. And, in fact, there is a bill pending in Springfield to do just that.
What a joke. Legislative scholarships were a scam before and they would be again.
Before the scholarships were abolished in 2012, Illinois legislators for years doled out free tuition to relatives, pals, campaign contributors, lobbyists and political workers. They were shameless.
Now, state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, wants to bring them back. He has introduced a bill that would allow every legislator to give out four one-year scholarships and two four-year scholarships every year. The state’s universities, already reeling from vanishing funding, would eat the cost.
It’s not as if the state doesn’t already have scholarships available. For example, there are the need-based Monetary Award Program grants for students at public universities. But guess what? With the end of the stopgap budget, there’s no funding for MAP grants. Why not?
Maybe because the MAP grants go to students who don’t know a single politician.
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