Letter to the Editor: MAP grant funding not Gov.’s fault

By Paul Mandigo

To the Northern Star Editorial Board,

I read with interest the editorial that encouraged students to attend the SA rally to make their voices heard to Gov. [Bruce] Rauner regarding [Monetary Assistance Program] funding issues. I am very sympathetic to the students who depend on MAP funding since I was on scholarship myself when I attended college.

My comments are focused on the last paragraph of the editorial in which it was stated: “Rauner is gambling with students’ ability to receive a higher education.” This sentence appears to completely ignore how Illinois arrived at the position that cannot afford to pay the MAP funds along with many other obligations in the state.

This impasse is occurring because, in the words of the Chicago Tribune editorial dated October 18, 2015, “But remember which leaders drove Illinois into this ditch [of fiscal borrowing beyond Illinois’ means]. And remember who’s waving off the tow truck: Nope, no problem around here but a governor who won’t surrender to us [Mike Madigan and John Cullerton] and the miserable status quo.”

I would strongly encourage the SA to also let Mike Madigan and John Cullerton hear that they, Madigan and Cullerton, are the ones who have created this situation and that Gov. Rauner has offered solutions that the Illinois legislature refuses to consider. The editorial appears to conveniently gloss over the history of how we are at this impasse and the lessons to be learned when spending is out of control and beyond the means to pay for it. Not only is this an excellent lesson for the state, it is an excellent life lesson, also.