CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -- A group of students and politicians rallied this weekend and demanded the state release money to fund Chicago State University and grant money for students.
The state-funded college is the first to feel the pinch in Illinois - thanks to the budget stalemate.
It was not a good week in the news for CSU. School administrators decided to cut spring break and shorten the school year by two weeks to save money. Then on Friday 900 layoff notices were sent out to employees at Chicago State.
“What is happening to our state?” asked United State Senator Richard Durbin Saturday. “I have never seen our state in this mess ever before in its history.”
“It makes no sense that we can sit here as people and play politics with the educational future of this state of this country,” said student Christopher Glenn, who is eligible but not receiving an Illinois MAP, Monetary Award Program, grant.
“I didn't know my education was a privilege, I always assumed education was a right,” he said to a clapping crowd.
Earlier this month Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the 373 million dollars in map grants saying the state could not afford it.
Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus say they will vote to override his veto.
“We are going to go back, the Senate is going to override the bill on Wednesday and we are going to do it on Thursday," said Illinois Representative Mary Flowers a Democrat representing parts of Chicago.
State and local politicians made their intentions clear that they will do everything in their power to keep the doors open at Chicago State University.
“We should not have to decide do we want to have our school and then have to cut our dollars for those that are struggling to pay their energy bills,” said Illinois Senator Donne Trotter, a Democrat representing parts of Chicago.
Thomas Calhoun, president of CSU said they will not shut down and will still pass out degrees on campus this year on April 28th.