Illinois universities worry about future without budget

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — University officials are urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a state budget, saying nearly a year without state support has led to layoffs, students struggling to pay tuition without grants and high schoolers considering going elsewhere for a degree.

Illinois’ Board of Higher Education Director James Applegate told a Senate committee Thursday that the state is “on the verge of dismantling the higher education system.”

Colleges have not received funding since July 1 when the current fiscal year budget should’ve taken effect. Higher education is facing future cuts as the state deals with a multi-billion-dollar deficit.

Southern Illinois University expects to lay off several hundred workers. Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman told lawmakers that anxious high school students are contemplating going to other states for an education.