Public Funding for a Private School

According to Ben Joravsky of the Chicago Reader, Loyola University, a Jesuit school in Chicago, was given $54,000,000 from the state of Illinois for redeveloping a campus building.

This is money that is taken away from the public schools and city projects and given to underdeveloped areas. Normally, if these funds are given to private universities, it is because the projects will help all the citizens (Northwestern University got money for a regenerative medicine wing and DePaul University received money for a science center).

Loyola says they will offer “community drama and art programs” in exchange for the funding… Hardly on par with the other colleges, and certainly no reason to take money away from the public school system.

Furthermore, this is city property that could be taxed going to a tax-exempt school. The city gets nothing back.

Joravsky states, “… The public is paying roughly $54 million of an $85 million construction project that benefits a private university charging $26,150 annual tuition and blessed with a growing endowment that now stands at about $260 million.”

Why is Loyola getting city funds for this? According to the article, political ties to the school.

For what it’s worth, our state constitution prohibits such activity (Article X, Section 3).

[tags]Joravsky, Chicago, Reader, Loyola, public, private[/tags]

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