SPRINGFIELD -- State government owes suburban community colleges millions of dollars, but officials say the schools have avoided major problems because they rely mostly on local property taxes for funding.
College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn is waiting on about $2.7 million in payments that were more than 30 days late as of Sept. 8.
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What the state owes local community collegesBills more than 30 days overdue as of Sept. 8
College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn: $2,713,800
College of Lake County, Grayslake: $1,297,391
Harper College, Palatine: $1,124,777
Oakton Community College, Des Plaines: $967,588
Elgin Community College, Elgin: $874,506
McHenry County College, Crystal Lake: $568,417
Overall, Illinois owed six local community colleges $7.5 million over the same time period.
College of Lake County in Grayslake was owed $1.3 million and Harper College in Palatine was owed $1.1 million.
The colleges are eager to get the money they're owed, especially as they've taken on a growing role in retraining the jobless and giving teens a lower-cost college option.
But CLC Vice President of Administrative Affairs David Agazzi said the state's payments, while late, are coming in faster than they used to.
And, Agazzi says, state money is "less than 10 percent of our budget."
That's the story throughout the suburbs, where public community colleges generally have fared better during the state's fiscal troubles than their counterparts downstate.
"The more they are capable of producing in property tax revenue, the less dependent they are to the state," said Michael Monaghan, executive director of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.