Sunday, February 21, 2016

Rauner Seeks to Victimize Those Seeking Advancement

Rauner: Moving from victimizing the marginalized to those seeking advancement…

Over 125,000 university level students in Illinois – students who have met the criteria for receiving financial assistance as they struggle to advance financially and vocationally – will no longer be provided with the support they so desperately need after Bruce Rauner vetoed the MAP Grant Funding Bill on February 19th, 2016.

You might not be aware what MAP Grants are for the students and many others who qualify under the careful watch of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the federally operated Free Application for Student Aid. 

So, what is a Map Grant?

MAP Fund money is Monetary Assistance Program money delivered to individuals meeting federally determined timelines and requirements for state monies to be used for educational purposes in secondary settings – in Illinois, university settings.  The timelines and threshold for meeting these requirements are firm and stringent; and the state program’s total $721 million bill is often utilized quickly.  In fact, the amount of money set aside for this important gateway to further the education of those in demand of assistance has by and large remained sadly static over the last years.  On the other hand, the needs in our grinding economy have increased exponentially. 

By the way, every state has its own version of this program.

In Illinois, the most an expectant recipient can expect to receive is less than $4800 in eventual maximum awards.  As a grant, the money provided is considered an investment on the part of the state for further benefits in return of employments, taxation, etc. It is not a loan.

On the other hand, students seeking MAP grants are likely carrying loan debt as well. Education may be the path into a higher earning position in life, but it does not come cheaply.   

MAP Grants might sound like a free offering that could be easily rigged; however, under the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, worthy and needy students seeking financial assistance in the state are provided tuition money only if they meet certain requirements, such as:  state and federal citizenship, documentable financial need, enrollment in an approved educational system for a minimum of hours, compliance with Social Service System registration, a maintained history of satisfactory academic progress, no default in any other loans (private or public), and having fallen short of the maximum 75 hours of MAP hour credits. 

In Rauner’s State of the Budget speech on February 17th, the Governor promised his audience, ”If we do this (follow his ideological  turnaround agenda)– if we come together to fix our long-term challenges – we will deliver world class education to every child in Illinois – no matter where they live or where they came from.

Sadly, less than three days after this conditional ultimatum to the General Assembly, Rauner vetoed any money to be provided the current MAP Program.

So much for “world class.”

Recall also that Governor Rauner has anointed himself as the protector of the Middle Class and its workers, swearing to correct their inability to recover from a state-specific economic depression due to his Democratic enemies’ refusal to provide for the recovery of workers who seek retooling and an escape from union control. 

However, more than just students are involved in this veto.

A significant portion of the MAP Funding also delivers financial assistance to those dislocated workers in our state seeking just the kind of re-education and learning that the Governor likes to describe as integral to his “turnaround plan.”  Makin' sure our workers are as ready to work as ones in Indiana.

Rauner describes his recent veto of funds to help dislocated workers and needy students as necessary to alleviate some of the pain felt by the current targets of his cutting – the deeply marginalized and those dependent on dwindling sisal services.  

Now he has turned his axe-wielding severity to those who might work to get ahead – and those trying to rejoin or maintain a life in the middle class. 

“I would encourage the students to stay and see if they can be patient and persistent along with us,” Rauner said.  He also vowed if given the authority to make cuts in the budget, he would find the money to pay most of what’s needed for student grants and public universities.” (Chicago Tribune – Feb. 21, 2016)

It was the indigent earlier who became pawns in this brinkmanship between Rauner and the General Assembly.  Now it moves up to those with some hope.  I wonder who’s next?


  1. He is a despicable self serving blood sucker.

  2. Rauner is a despicable self serving blood sucker.

  3. Nonsupport from our classless governor! Why doesn't he just get an automatic and shoot all of the poor. In essence, that is what he's doing. I'd rather die than see the legislature give in to him, now.

  4. After Chicago State College, I think it's Northeastern University, then UIC, the Carbondale, Univ of IL in Urbana....