Lacking 'Black And Brown Children,' IMSA To Lose $1.8m

May 14, 2014

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia's Aurora district includes the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

In the House Democratic budget plan, most state institutions would get level funding or a slight increase.

One of the few cuts is directed at the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, a Democrat whose Aurora district includes IMSA, says the decrease is because the elite high school has failed to meet diversity goals.

"I am getting very frustrated with having to defend myself to my minority colleagues for fighting for money for [IMSA], when [lawmakers] come to an event there and they don't see the black and brown children that look like them, that we fought so hard to get money there," Chapa LaVia says.

The Democratic spending plan calls for IMSA to lose $1.8 million — more than 8 percent of its state funding.

IMSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: Adding raw audio of the debate over IMSA funding — these are excerpts from Wednesday's House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee:

0:00 — Reps. Norine Hammond and Ken Dunkin
2:09 — Reps. Joe Sosnowski and Dunkin
9:43 — Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia