Students Ask Questions Of Candidates Running for Govenor

By Web Master

Sheryl Tirol

Special Sections Editor

Timothy C. Lofgren

Graphic Design Editor

Candidate’s Response:

1.) What will you plan on doing for college students to help with higher education costs?

George Ryan:

My education plan contains two proposals to help control the costs of higher education and to make college more affordable for students: I will dedicate 51 percent of all new state money for education and job training in order to reduce the need for colleges to increase tuition. Second, I will fully fund scholarship programs for students to help them pay for the cost of their education.

Glenn Poshard:

As a Congressman, I have worked hard to secure funding for federal financial aid programs, tax credits for higher education costs, grants, scholarships and other means of tuition assistance. As Governor, I will continue to help ensure that higher education is an affordable option for every Illinoisan.

State support for higher education must be enhanced if colleges and universities are to keep higher education affordable.

Multiple-year tuition plans can help students and their families better plan for the cost of a college education. Colleges and universities should prepare plans that give parents a detailed look at the cost of tuition, fees, and room and board over the course of a college degree program.

These multi-year plans help families plan for future cost increases and enable students to enroll in college with a clear understanding of what their degree is going to cost them. Some institutions are doing this; more need to do so.

Grad Pacts can help ensure that students graduate in an expeditious manner. Grad Pacts are contracts signed by both the institution and the student guaranteeing that the institution will offer the courses and support services needed to enable the student to finish degree requirements within four years. The student commits to act responsibly in attending classes, studying , and seeking support when necessary. Western Illinois University is the only public university in Illinois to offer such contracts; other institutions should follow its lead.

2.) What will you do for education, including higher education?


Education is my top priority, for higher education, I will concentrate on making higher education affordable and accessible, on preventing the brain drain of top professors and on improving the high-tech capabilities of our campuses for tomorrow’s education and research needs. Central to this last pint is full funding of $40 million a year for the Illinois Century Network, the “next generation internet” that will connect colleges, libraries, businesses, schools and homes.


I am an educator. I have been a classroom teacher, a high school coach, and an administrator, and I have a Ph.D. in the administration of higher education. Increasing the quality and availability of educational opportunities for all Illinoisans will be my top priority as Governor.

In terms of primary and secondary education, I want to equalize funding so that the quality of a child’s education does not depend upon where that child happens to grow up. I will reduce class sizes, improve teacher training, increase the number of support staff like school nurses and counselors, and make sure our schools are safe and healthy learning environments. For those who wish to pursue their education beyond high school, I will make sure that higher education is affordable, increase access to higher education through distance learning and other technology, and ensure that higher education prepares Illinoisans with the skills they will need in the workplace.

3.) How do you plan to improve the economy in the state of Illinois?


The future of our economy hinges on making sure all people in Illinois have the education and training necessary to do any sort of job that is presented to them. I also will work with business and industry to promote manufacturing, high-tech research, biotechnology, tourism, agriculture to keep Illinois’ unemployment rate at a generation low 4.2 percent.


My education plan will be key to ensuring that Illinois’ citizens are prepared to seize new job opportunities as they are created. In addition, I will implement a statewide human resource development strategy, under which job training is viewed not as a social service, but rather as a shared venture among people, employers, and schools. The needs of employees in the next century must be anticipated with the basic skills and specialized training necessary to meet these needs.

I will reinvigorate and provide more resources for Small Business Development Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, and International Trade Centers, with a goal of forging a single seamless system of integrated Small Business Support Centers. In addition, I will implement a series of disadvantaged business enterprise initiatives in order to increase economic opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses.

4.) If elected, how will you educate the younger generation about politics as well as your political stance?


I will educate the younger generation by providing role models in my administration that exemplify the best in public service.


I believe it is critical that young Illinoisans become involved in the political process, and I will do all I can to support this involvement. I will make sure that colleges and community organizations have access to the information they need to educate young voters about the process in general and about specific issues that are of concern to them and their families. The younger generation must be aware of how important and powerful their voice can be in politics and use this voice to change our state for the better. As Governor, I am committed to working with our young citizens to help them take full advantage of their role in the political process.