Higher education funding protest planned in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators are expected to converge on Springfield to point out the damage the lack of an Illinois budget is having on the state’s colleges and universities.

Members of the Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education will be at the state Capitol on Wednesday in an effort to pressure the Legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner to reach a funding solution for higher education.

Several Illinois universities have announced layoffs as a result of the budget standoff in Springfield. Chicago State University has eliminated spring break and said the semester will end April 28 instead of May 13 for its roughly 4,500 students.

Spokesman Ryan Keith says the coalition organizing Wednesday’s demonstration is a collection of business, labor, and organizations representing public and private colleges and universities.