Support Emergency Federal Aid for U of I System and Students
Ask your federal legislators to support higher education in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic by:
- Providing $47 billion in emergency funding for students and institutions of higher education nationwide to offset COVID-19 expenses.
- Making public universities eligible for federal tax credits to help pay for the costs of expanded paid sick leave and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits for our employees.
The University of Illinois System has taken unprecedented steps to safeguard the health, well-being and education of our students while maintaining our commitments to our employees and to the communities we serve. These measures have taken a significant financial toll so far, including:
- Refunds for room and board;
- Costs of transitioning to online education and telework;
- Expenses associated with mitigating and remediating the impact of COVID-19, including assisting relief and response efforts, cleaning our campuses, and safely ramping down research activities;
- Lost revenues from cancelled programs and events, closed facilities and delayed grants.
The U of I System estimates that costs and lost revenues to projected through June amount to over $158 million, not including the significant impact on our hospital. The relief approved by Congress to date will only cover a fraction of these costs. The requested $47 billion is based on projections by the leading higher education associations about the financial impact of COVID-19 on institutions of higher education and students across the country. The U of I System would receive a portion of this money to help offset our costs and help our students.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) recently passed by Congress gives many employees new paid sick leave and FMLA benefits. The law gives private employers tax credits to cover the costs, but it excludes public institutions. We estimate that the U of I System will expend approximately $150 million to comply with these new requirements. We ask Congress to help public institutions cover these costs.
Please TAKE ACTION and ask your federal legislators to support the U of I System and higher education by voting for additional federal resources for students and universities. As Congress crafts the next emergency legislation responding to the crisis, additional relief is urgently needed.
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