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How Does a State College Survive, and Thrive, on Emergency Funding?

After Gov. Bruce V. Rauner of Illinois signed into law a temporary budget, on Thursday, to keep state institutions afloat for another six months, public colleges and universities may have exhaled a sigh of relief. But, before long, they’re likely to be holding their breath again.

Illinois’ public institutions have gone without permanent state funding for almost a year, a result of a legislative deadlock. And though the second wave of temporary money — legislators approved $600 million in emergency funds in April — will help carry the colleges through the next academic year, the fact that the cash comes in another stopgap spending bill doesn’t exactly bode well for the future.