Plan Emerges (and Stalls) to Help Illinois Colleges

April 22, 2016

A plan has finally emerged to provide some financial relief for public colleges and universities in Illinois, which have been operating without state funds since last summer, but it has stalled, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Legislators and the governor remain deadlocked on the state budget. But a plan that briefly appeared to have momentum Thursday (and that some hope could gather support today) would provide $356 million to four-year colleges and $74 million to community colleges. Those funding levels, coming 10 months after state funds should have started to flow, still would represent deep cuts compared to a normal year. But many colleges say that they need something to avoid layoffs and program shutdowns. Proportionately more money would be provided under the plan to Chicago State University, which many fear is on the verge of closure. On Thursday, legislators spoke of endorsing this possible compromise, but then held off amid questions about other state needs that have not been funded.

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