SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The state budget impasse could affect the accreditation of Illinois universities, which have seen deep cuts in state funding in the nearly three years lawmakers have failed to agree on a spending plan.
The Higher Learning Commission, which accredits schools in the Midwest, recently issued a letter cautioning lawmakers that a lack of funding places Illinois universities at risk of losing their accreditation.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale President Randy Dunn says losing accreditation could make it difficult to hire more staff.
The commission wrote that the budget crisis has led to increased tuition, delays in grants for financially needy students, staff reductions and canceled capital projects. They say diminished cash reserves will hurt students.
The budgets recently proposed by Democrats and Republicans would cut funding by 10 percent.
The state's universities haven't received funding since 2016.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.