CHICAGO — Illinois Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to news that Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) will cancel three days of classes to cut costs as Governor Rauner has failed to produce a state budget that supports higher education.
“As a proud graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, it breaks my heart to see my alma mater facing this hardship because we have a governor whose refusal to negotiate a budget is dismantling higher education in Illinois.
A high percentage of Northeastern Illinois University students are Latinos, making it a critically important institution for advancing academic and career opportunities for many students in my district and in the Latino community. I support Northeastern Illinois University Interim President Richard J. Helldobler’s call for the state to fund higher education. The state needs to support state schools.
Sadly, what’s happening at Northeastern Illinois University is happening to colleges throughout Illinois. Classes being cancelled, furloughs, faculty layoffs and students deciding to go to college in other states have become too common. Governor, it’s time to do your job and start supporting higher education.”
NEIU’s El Centro campus, located in Martinez’s district, has been a focal point for access to higher education opportunities in the Latino community.
NEIU, which serves roughly 10,000 students, also recently closed for spring break to implement a weeklong furlough program and has had to let employees go due to the lack of a state budget.