Rainn Darring is a senior at Northern Illinois University. He fears he may not be able to finish his final semester if the budget impasse in Springfield stops him from receiving his map grant.
Darring says, “I’m a first generation college student. I’ll be the first to receive a college degree from a four year university, and I (have) been working on this for so long, to have to go home and let my family down.”
He’s one of 500 people rallying at NIU about the lack of a state budget. More than 13 area colleges in attendance, along with many social service agencies The rally aimed to get Governor Rauner’s attention, as he came onto campus to be the keynote speaker for DeKalb County’s state of the county dinner
Map grants are funds from the state that help lower-income students pay for college. So far, more than 100 hundred thousand students statewide have not received their funding. NIU senior Robin Cheeks is one of them.
She says, “I’m not even more as disappointed as frustrated, because it’s not even me that’s holding me back I have a state holding me back.”NIU Student and speaker of the Student Senate Association Dillon Domke adds, “When I hear state representatives say people aren’t even sitting down to talk about (the budget), you know, you need to go to work. You need to do your jobs. Anyone who wouldn’t do their jobs at a regular 9-5 would be fired.”
Domke says the student association reached out to Rauner for an interview, but the governor declined.
Rauner has blamed Democrats for failing to send what he calls a sensible budget to his desk.