A new coalition is pushing for "immediate action" on the state funding crisis impacting higher education in Illinois during the budget stalemate.
The Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education, made up of "business, labor, and organizations representing public and private colleges and universities," launched a campaign Wednesday aimed at getting state funding freed up for higher education.
Higher education funding, including money for the state's tuition assistance program for low-income Illinoisans, has been caught up in the budget impasse, now in its seventh month. As a result, colleges and universities have not received state funding since July 1.
Data company Agrible, located in the University of Illinois Research Park in Champaign, is among the businesses represented on the coalition.
"The ongoing higher education funding crisis in Illinois is a real threat to our state because its impact is much deeper than the classrooms and productive people who fill them," Agrible co-founder and CEO Chris Harbourt said in a news release. "Agrible and scores of other innovative businesses like ours work to make our customers more efficient, productive and successful. Draining resources from our campuses does exactly the opposite.
"It not only hurts the thousands of students, faculty and workers on campus, but also it sends the message to business that the higher education system you depend on for your talent and support is not a priority here," he added. "We urge a quick resolution so we can refocus on creating a more dynamic, competitive workforce and business environment in Illinois."