Illinois budget stalemate forces Northeastern to cancel classes

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CHICAGO (AP) – Northeastern Illinois University says it will cancel three days of classes in order to cut costs as public universities in Illinois struggle to make ends meet during the state’s budget stalemate.

The Chicago-based university will no longer hold classes April 11, 12 and May 1.

Illinois has been without a budget for 21 months and has a bill backlog of $12.9 billion. Northeastern Illinois interim President, Richard Helldobler called the state’s unprecedented budget impasse a “state of emergency” for the school.

“Springfield must understand that the lack of funding for higher education is having a negative and permanent impact, specifically on disadvantaged populations in the state,” Helldobler said in a statement.

This announcement is the second made by the university. Last month, it required all employees to take five days off during spring break.

School officials say more furlough days could be in the future if a state budget might be passed.

Other state universities have seen dropping enrollment along with cuts to employees and programs and drained cash reserves. ​