Sen. Dave Koehler

BLOOMINGTON – State Senator Dave Koehler stood alongside school faculty and community leaders at Heartland Community College Tuesday to discuss proposed investments to higher education.

“Increased investments toward our community colleges give Illinoisans the opportunity to pursue their education here, making it possible for residents to receive their degree and find high paying jobs in central Illinois,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “By making college more affordable, Illinois is painting a brighter future for our future workforce.” 

The governor’s introduced budget proposes an additional $100 million investment toward Monetary Award Program grants, as well as an additional $20 million investment toward community colleges throughout the state. Heartland Community College is home to over 13,000 students, with one out of every five receiving a MAP grant. With this increase and the additional availability of Pell Grants and scholarships, virtually all community college students at or below the median income level could go to community college free-of-charge.

“Making higher education more affordable for our students will lead them to find jobs and stay in Illinois,” said Koehler. “Investments in our community colleges are investments in our residents’ futures. The more we invest in our schools, the more opportunities Illinoisans will have across the state.”

The proposed budget also includes increased funding for workforce training programs, including the electric vehicle technologies workforce programs. These programs would be available to community colleges like Heartland Community College across the state.

Koehler looks forward to ongoing budget negotiations in the months to come.