Higher education officials rally in Springfield, IL over funding

Higher education officials rally in Springfield, IL over funding
Updated: Feb. 8, 2017 at 3:48 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Higher education officials from across Illinois gathered in Springfield on Wednesday, February 8 where they held a rally about funding.

A nearly two-year-long budget stalemate has been tough on many in Illinois, and colleges and universities like SIU are no exception.

Those who rallied on Wednesday were passionate and vocal. They chanted "Now."

Students, faculty, even university presidents from across the state gathered in the Capitol rotunda. Their mission: making sure lawmakers know just how much schools need funding.

We talked to one student about the effect of the budget crunch.

"Now we have to work longer hours to pay for classes, and it takes time away from our students and have to worry about how we are going to pay for our next semester, as opposed to it's already stressful being in class and be in class instead of having those grades you really want to have," said Ziara Ponce, student at Harper College.

Ivy Lyons, a student at Greenville College, talked about the importance of grants.

"Families like mine who are impoverished or who are dealing with serious issues, really look towards the MAP grant as a saving grace to keep others in school and others like me in school," Lyons said.

The rally was put on by "The Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education," an umbrella group for colleges, universities and their supporters.

David Tretter with the Federation for Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities talked about how this budget stalemate has affected campuses.

In April 2016, there was a large rally near the Capitol that resulted in more funding for higher education.

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