Cuts in next year’s state budget appear inevitable, but some state lawmakers are hoping the MAP grant scholarships are spared.  The Monetary Assistance Program provides tuition assistance for low-income students, but its funding has been decreased in recent years. Education groups are predicting the budget for Fiscal Year 2016 could cut the program by 25 percent, but State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) says education must be a priority even in lean times.
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“We’re going to have a lot of difficult choices ahead of us this spring,” Biss said, “but as we’re making those difficult choices, I hope that we can, every day, keep in mind this question of: are we looking forward? Do we believe in ourselves? Are we investing in our future, or have we, unfortunately on the other hand, chosen to give up?”
The group Voices for Illinois Children says the cuts would mean another 45,000 students in Illinois eligible for MAP grants wouldn’t receive that assistance.
During this year’s campaign for governor, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner promised to increase MAP funding, and criticized Gov. Pat Quinn for making cuts to the program between 2010 and 2013. 
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