Chicago State University set to close May 1st
With no funding from the state and lawmakers still tangling over how to fund state colleges, Chicago State University will officially run out of funds on May 1st.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and state Democrats in the House and Senate, as well as Republicans, are fighting over the state’s budget. In turn, Chicago State and other state colleges haven’t received a dime from the state.
That’s problematic for a school like Chicago State that receives at or near 30 percent of its funding from the state.
With no money coming from Illinois, the school is close to running dry on money and has said that it will be broke come May 1st.
Commencement ceremony was moved up to April 28th and the school has said that it will layoff hundreds of its 900 employee staff.
Without funding, the summer semester may be in danger as well.
Chicago State isn’t listed as an HBCU but is a predominately black institution of higher education. It provides an educational avenue for many black and brown students who come from low-income backgrounds. Now with the state wrestling politically over how to fund higher education, many of those students will be left out in the cold.
But there may be a bit of good news on the way. There were three bills debated in the House and Senate earlier this week that would provide funding relief for the state’s public colleges. One bill would give nearly $560 million to all nine public universities, which would temporarily fill the need.
While that is good news if one of the three bills pass, the disturbing trend of state legislatures cutting funding for higher education only hurts the students and does not help the state.
As soon as this impasse ends, there will be another fight over the state’s budget soon and the target will probably fall on education again.