Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

Legislative Strategy

The goal of our legislative efforts is to secure legislative support for IMSA’s annual budget and other priority needs to assure long term stability of the Academy. To achieve this goal, we have developed a two-step legislative strategy, focusing on IMSA’s capabilities to:
  1. Positively build and sustain strategic relationships with the legislators most directly responsible for appropriating or affecting our funding and other strategic institutional needs, and

  2. Positively impact all legislators and government staff that may become more involved in decisions affecting our funding and other needs in the future.

Illinois is now in the midst of a multi-year unprecedented budget crisis, with state agencies and educational entities predicted to again see decreases to their state appropriated funding. Since it is not known when the State's budget situation will significantly improve and stabilize, all publicly-funded entities must adapt and invest in their ability to remain financially viable. IMSA, however, has a uniquely challenging financial strategy in terms of educational funding. Unlike other higher education entities, IMSA does not charge tuition, room and board costs, nor does it have extraordinarily high donations from an alumni base to supplant our State funding; consequently, IMSA’s reliance on state funding is significantly higher. Universities rely on state appropriations for approximately 17% of their funding, and community colleges rely on the state for 13% of their funding; in contrast, IMSA receives 80% of their funding from the state. It is due to this steep funding reliance on the state that the effects of Illinois’ fiscal condition and economic climate could result in much more devastating outcomes for IMSA. Consequently, continued implementation of the two-step proactive and thorough legislative strategy has become more critical than ever for IMSA to maintain the funds we need to fulfill our two legislative mandates.

Actions that Support the Legislative Strategy

The key actions and activities involved in implementing the two-step legislative strategy are IMSA community (students, alumni, parents) engagement, legislative capability and accountability, and leadership positioning. A chart of the strategy and supporting actions is located here.

Students: In 2008, the Student Committee for IMSA Advancement (SCIA) was formed by then-student Kevin Crews. SCIA is a select group of 20 students who focus on fostering relationships between students and legislators, alumni and donors.
While SCIA was inspired by a student’s idea, the leadership team deliberately designed tactics to in support of our legislative strategy.
Another tactic is to position IMSA’s leadership in key statewide educational leadership positions, such as the P-20 Council and Joint Education Leadership Committee.